GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — “We’re proud, we’re blessed, but it didn’t happen overnight.” said the owner of JR Carriage Service, Joe Burtard.

Joe Burtard was 14 years old in the Roaring Fork Valley competing in junior rodeos, and high school rodeos when he started JR Carriage Service.

Burtard echoed, “I grew up in a ranching family, and that was important to me.”

Mesa State, now Colorado Mesa University may have brought Burtard to the Western Slope, but his business success gave him a reason to stay.

“Coming here to the grand valley you know brought new life to the carriage business. It opened up a lot of opportunities for me. A lot of unique opportunities for the business to operate and provide a service that was unique to the valley.” Burtard voiced.

JR Carriage Service offers everything from wedding pulls to horse-drawn wine tours, but those are just a few of the trappings that helped it gallop its way to business of the year.

Burtard mentioned, “Such as the free carriage rides over downtown Grand Junction, carriage rides during Farmers Market.”

Joe’s business not only helps the community, but also stands apart as a unique reflection of Western Slope history.

“Where else do you have these wineries and historical downtown areas. We have so many amazing community events that really embrace and incorporate our service into what they do.” Burtard stated.

The community keeps his business trotting along, but Burtard gives all the praise to the horses he loves.

Burtard added, “God blessed me with two amazing, beautiful healthy creatures, and they’re the ones we have to give credit to.”

A wise man once said, if you love what you do, you’ll truly never work a day in your life. Burtard firmly believes that.

Burtard belevies, “It’s a passion, it’s more than just a job for us. This is who we are, this is our lifestyle.”