A Horse’s Tale
There are numerous books, which either include Vail or which are exclusively about Vail. Most of these are very upbeat, beautifully photographed and explore the glamorous side of one of the world’s great ski resorts.
There are also countless stories and events which, for various reasons, have generally not been included in books. These stories could be termed (with a nod to Paul Harvey) the rest of the story. Among such tales is one, which has been retold so many times it has, undoubtedly, been enhanced.
As the story goes, there was a bar located in Vail Village on the southwest corner of Gore Creek Drive and Bridge Street and it was run by a well-known local resident. One of the frequent patrons was an equally well-known individual who had a strong, larger-than-life personality. The patron, it is said, would frequently ride a horse into the bar, which often resulted in the horse leaving a “calling card” on the floor. The owner, in an attempt to put a halt to this occurrence – without totally alienating a good patron – announced that if the horse ever again left a “calling card”, the horse and owner would both be “86ed” from the bar for the season.
Shortly thereafter the patron rode his horse into the bar and the owner immediately began to evict them both. The patron argued that the horse had not made a mess. The owner relented, and the patron ordered a beer. Shortly, however, the horse’s tail rose and everyone held their breath. Before the horse could finish it’s business the patron grabbed a cowboy hat from a visitor sitting at the bar and caught the horse’s attempt to have them thrown out. The hat was then handed back to the visitor and the beer drinking retuned, for the time-being, to normal.