Gardiner Gears up for Annual Hell's A-Roarin Horse Drive

Gardiner Gears up for Annual Hell's A-Roarin Horse Drive

May 25, 2022

Mild spring weather, snow-capped peaks, and hundreds of hooves pounding dusty roads—these are the sights and sounds of Memorial Day weekend in Gardiner, Montana, where the annual Hell’s A-Roarin’ Horse Drive takes place each year.

“Since 1982 we have driven our horses through town and up to our ranch,” explains Susan Johnson, co-owner of Hell’s A-Roarin’ Outfitters along with her husband Warren. “We first did it because we didn't own a horse trailer. A semi would drop them at the rodeo grounds, and this was the only way to get them home. Folks in town always enjoyed watching.”

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Since then, Hell’s A-Roarin’ Outfitters kicks off the summer season by driving the herd to their summer location in Jardine, Montana, 9 miles north of Gardiner. The drive begins at the Gardiner Rodeo Grounds and continues up the Jardine Road until it reaches the Hell’s A-Roarin’ Ranch. A barbeque dinner, raffle and auction, dancing, and live music round out the annual event.

In 2013, thanks to its popularity and ability to bring the community together, the Drive became a way to raise funds for nonprofit organizations in the Gardiner area. Past proceeds have benefitted the Gardiner Food Pantry, Park County Sheriff’s K-9 unit, and the Gardiner Rodeo. This year proceeds will be used to purchase an Action Trackchair for a disabled Montana Veteran.

“Each year a committee of five votes on a cause to raise money for,” says Johnson. “When we decided in 2018 to buy a Track Chair for a disabled veteran, we had overwhelming support. So, we decided from now on, this is what the Horse Drive will stand for—veterans and first responders.”

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This year’s Horse Drive will take place on Saturday, May 28. Spectators will have the opportunity to view the horses at the Gardiner Rodeo Grounds from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. At 2 p.m. sharp, the horses will leave the rodeo grounds and the outfitters will drive all 300 animals through Scott Street in downtown Gardiner. But the fun doesn’t stop there, check out the schedule of events below for details on this year's event.  

12-2 p.m. Horse viewing at Gardner Rodeo Grounds

2 p.m. The horses leave rodeo grounds and head home

4 p.m. Open bar and BBQ available at the Jardine Land and Livestock Rodeo Grounds

5 p.m. Live auction, silent auction, and raffle.

7-10 p.m. The dancing begins! Jeff Menuey plays good old country western.

Tickets this year are $25 for adults and $20 for kids 16 and under. Children under 5 are free and welcome. There is plenty of space for parking, and all tickets will be sold at the gate. There is room for anyone that would like to attend. Cash or checks (made out to Hellsroarin' Horse Drive) accepted. Credit cards are not accepted.

"We hope you come and bid on some fabulous items that have been donated this year."

If you can't attend but would like to make a donation, checks can be mailed to:

Hellsaroarin' Horse Drive
P.0. Box 399
Gardiner, MT 59030

Learn more at www.hellsaroarinhorsedrive.com.

Photos courtesy of Jean Modesette.

 

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