By Kathy Bedell
If truth be told, it all started at the old Ossman Ranch. That’s where Leadville Ski Joring officially got its humble beginnings in Lake County. For it was on that family ranch, just north of Leadville on Hwy. 91, where “Mugs” Ossman’s love of quarter horses met up with Tom Schroeder’s love of skiing really fast, and thus the sport of ski joring took hold in the highest city in North America.
It was 67 years ago, back in 1949, when the two good Leadville friends ventured over to Steamboat Springs’ Winter Carnival and witnessed for the first time the sport of ski joring: a horse-and-rider pulling a skier. It was like nothing they’d ever seen; the two couldn’t wait to bring the idea back to Leadville to be part of its annual winter celebration.