Two close friends sat in a booth at the Golden Burro Café discussing the upcoming winter festivities in Leadville, Colorado known as Crystal Carnival. The year was 1949, and the task at hand was to come up with something new to add to the event list for the festivities. Over several cups of coffee and pie, the two decided to take a trip and see if they could bring back any ideas from the Steamboat Springs winter carnival. Steamboat was where Tom Schroeder and "Mugs" Ossman first witnessed the sport of Ski Joring, a horse-and-rider pulling a skier. The sport they saw in Steamboat , however, was the basis of what they decided to do, only they could not understand why anyone would want to go that slow! Mugs raised Quarter Horses for speed, and of course Tom, being the feisty Irishman skier he was, knew that there was not a horse alive fast enough to "lose" him on a pair of skis. They went out to the Ossman Ranch just north of town and first tried it in the pasture in the deep snow, and the sport of Ski Joring as we know it today was born.
This History page is as it was told directly to Paul Copper from Tom Schroeder in 1988.
Ski Joring is held annually in Leadville the first full weekend in March.
The 75th running is March 4th & 5th in 2023!