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Regional, Monthly All-Breed Horse Magazine • Since 1993
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Regional, Monthly All-Breed Horse Magazine
Distributed throughout the Greater Rockies Since 1993

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Copyright 2010 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Montana Draft Teamster 

Hall of Fame 2010 Inductees

By Nick Shrauger, Big Sky Draft Horse Expo

 

September 2010 Issue

 

Two outstanding Montana teamsters will be inducted into the Montana Draft Teamster Hall of Fame at the 15th Annual Big Sky Draft Horse Expo to be held in Deer Lodge at 12:30 p.m., September 18, 2010. Teamsters to be honored are Howard Lee, 97, of Forsyth; and Mike Myhre, 71, of Custer.

 

     The Montana Draft Teamster Hall of Fame is dedicated to individuals or entities that have made significant contributions to preservation, education, and use of draft animals and or draft equipment for work or pleasure in Montana .

     Induction to the Montana Draft Teamster Hall of Fame is based on an outstanding record of contributions to the use, development, preservation, and/or education of draft animals or equipment used by draft animals. This year’s inductees have more than a century of teamster experience between them.

 

Howard Lee – Forsyth , MT

     Howard was born in 1913 and has lived his whole life on farms and ranches. He recalls that, at age ten, he was driving eight horses on a triple plow. During his school years, he drove his sisters and brother to school in a buggy or sleigh and had to get up early to feed, harness, and hitch the team.

     His first job was driving a four-horse hitch on a fresno dump bucket in a blazing-hot gravel pit. He worked there all day long all summer even as horses had to be changed every two hours because of the heat.

     Howard continued working horses even after tractors became popular. During the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s he tilled, planted, and harvested with horses. This included hauling grain bundles to a threshing machine using horse teams. Harnessing teams started about 5:00 a.m. each morning, and Howard supervised, helped, and taught hired hands how to harness, hitch, and drive. In the winter, teams were used for feeding cattle.

     Howard was well-known in the Forsyth area during the 1960s-1990 because he used horse teams to put up hay along roadsides.

     Later in life, he developed an interest in building and restoring horse-drawn wagons, and continued to train teams for harness. In 1989, he and his wife restored an original Central Overland Stage coach, and then participated with this coach and four horses in the 1989 Centennial Cattle Drive from Roundup to Billings .

 Howard Lee’s passion for driving teams and his love of draft horses has never ended. He has helped educate many teamsters, and has certainly preserved the use of draft horses for work and pleasure.

 

Mike Myhre – Custer , MT

      Like many Hall of Fame members, Mike Myhre began working horses while growing up on a farm. By age 13 he was putting up hay with horses.

     The use of horses became a way of life for Mike. His policy has been to use horses for anything and everything he possibly can such as farming, dragging game for hunters, grading roads, and separating grain. He uses his horses in parades, teamster competitions, funerals, weddings, and wagon trains. Mike is also a charter member of the Montana Draft Horse and Mule Association.

     Mike is an educator and teaches young people how to harness, hitch, and drive at 4-H and other clinics. His two grandsons are working today as teamsters in Yellowstone National Park .

     Mike is also a builder, making horse-drawn, round-bale feeders. He collects and restores old, horse-drawn equipment. He also raises and trains Brabant Belgian draft horses.

 

     The Montana Draft Teamster Hall of Fame is jointly sponsored by the Montana Draft Horse and Mule Association, and Big Sky Draft Horse Expo. Hall of Fame members also have their photos and stories displayed at the Grant-Kohrs Historic Ranch in Deer Lodge. Twenty individuals have been placed in the Hall.

     Besides induction at Draft Horse Expo, this year’s honorees will be guests at the Teamster Hall of Fame Banquet held on Saturday, September 18 in Deer Lodge.

     For more information on the induction ceremony and activities, contact Nick Shrauger of Bozeman at 406-586-5113; email nicksh@theglobal.net. www.drafthorseexpo.com.

     Nominations are also being solicited for 2011.

Copyright 2010 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

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