Founded in 1998
JR’s Carriage Service was founded in 1998 by Joseph R. Burtard at the age of 14. Over the years, JR’s has performed 100s of weddings in some of the most prestigious wedding destinations Colorado offers. Our Team has taken a unique approach in the services that we provide by breaking through the ordinary expectation of a horse-drawn carriage service.
Our draft horses are purchased from Amish communities within the Eastern United States. The vehicles are custom built Les Voitures Robert Carriages from Quebec Canada. Our team of employees are active community ambassadors through their involvement in a wide variety of civic, chartable, and professional organizations.
Meet the Team
The People & Horses Behind it All
JOE BURTARD / OWNER
Joseph’s heritage began in the Roaring Fork Valley where he grew up on his parent’s ranch outside of Carbondale, CO. Joseph attended Colorado Mesa University where he received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. He graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering as a Certified Auctioneer for real-estate, auto, livestock, antiques and charity auctions. Joseph has a Master’s of Businesses Administration from University of Phoenix and is currently the External Affairs Manager for Ute Water Conservancy District. In addition to being the spokesperson for Ute Water, Joseph also owns and manages JR’s Carriage Service. He is actively involved in a number of local charity events and service clubs. His faith and family (including his JR’s family) remain the two most important elements of his life.
TAYLOR VAN ZYL
Taylor was raised in Aspen, Colorado and brings with her years of equine experience. She graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Equine Science and a minor in Agricultural Business. Taylor is currently seeking a Veterinary Technician degree from Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, CO. Her driving experience, spirited personality and connection/relationship with our horses made her a perfect fit.
In addition to driving teams for JR’s Carriage Service, Taylor owns VZ Performance Horses. She is quickly establishing herself in western Colorado by starting colts, training both English and Western horses, and giving riding lessons to all age groups. Taylor will also continue competing in the rodeo circuit as a barrel racer and team roper.
Catherine, a Grand Valley Native, started riding horses as a little girl and developed a forever lasting love and passion for all things horse related. She trained her first horse at 12 years old and has been honing her skills as an equine trainer ever since.
In addition to training horses, Catherine is also a competitive barrel racer, roper, former gymnast, and fitness junkie. Her equine experience and technique allows her to create an all around versatile horse. Catherine is currently a sophomore seeking a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a Management concentration from Colorado Mesa University.
Brittany has called the Grand Valley home since 1996. She brings with her years of equine experience ranging from pleasure, dressage, show jumping, roping and speed events. She graduated from Colorado Mesa University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.
While in high school, Brittany turned her hobby and photography passion into a business. Brittany has experience in the service industry and more recently as a server at a local winery. Her knowledge of local wines pairs nicely with our signature Horse-Drawn Wine Tours. Brittany will continue competing in the rodeo circuit as a team roper and barrel racer.
Ryan is a Colorado Native and a resident of the Western Slope for over 15 years. Don’t be surprised if Ryan tells you that “our guests often assume he is the ‘R’ in JR’s, but if that were true it would be named RJ’s Carriage Service”. He will also tell you, with a straight face, that an injury incurred while bronc riding that kept him from returning to the sport, but his equine addiction is too strong to keep him from working with horses.
Consequently, he found a new way of engaging with horses through driving teams. The truth is, Ryan is a proud graduate of Colorado Mesa University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting. He works full-time as an Accountant for a private golf course. When he’s not punching numbers and driving teams he is traveling the world. He enjoys meeting and engaging with the wonderful people that book with JR’s while showing off what the Grand Valley has to offer!