Our Story

JR’s Carriage Service, LLC., is the most recognized horse-drawn carriage service in the State of Colorado. JR’s 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 has to offer.

Owner of JR’s Carriage Service, Joseph R. Burtard

JR’s has always taken a unique approach in the services that they offer by breaking through the normal expectation of a horse-drawn carriage service. All of their horses are purchased from Amish communities within the Eastern United States and the majority of their carriages are hand-selected from Canada. Joseph’s spirited and outgoing personality is the foundation for the success of his hobby in raising, training and driving these gentle giants.

Meet the JR’s Team:

Joseph’s heritage began in the Roaring Fork Valley where he grew up on his parent’s ranch outside of Carbondale, CO. After graduating from Cañon City High School, in 2002, 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 in 2008 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 remain the two most important elements of his life.

Taylor van Zyl and Joseph R. Burtard

Taylor van Zyl and Joseph R. Burtard during a Horse-Drawn Sunset Tour in Palisade, Colorado


Taylor joined the JR’s Team, as our Lead Teamster, in August of 2014

Taylor van Zyl was raised in Aspen, Colorado and brings with her years of equine experience. She recently graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Equine Science and a minor in Agricultural Business. Taylor joined the JR’s Team, as our Lead Teamster, in early August. Her driving experience, spirited personality and connection/relationship with our horses made her a perfect fit for our long-term vision plan.

In addition to driving teams for JR’s Carriage Service, Taylor will be running her own business, VZ Performance Horses. She is quickly establishing herself in Fruita, 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.