Coutts named as 4th of July Grand Marshal

CCN Library photo Don Coutts, (right) drives the Budweiser team down Broadway in Red Lodge in 2013.

The 2014 Grand Marshal for the 85th Annual Home of Champions Rodeo Parades July 2- 4 will be Don Coutts, a long time teamster, who arrived in Red Lodge June 1, 1960.

Coutts was born on a sheep ranch in Bowman, N. D., on Aug. 26, 1922, and started driving a team and wagon at about the age of 11. Some 80 years later he’s still going strong.

In keeping with his life and e x p e r i enc e , the parade’s theme is ‘Wagons Ho!”

Coutts has been an Elk Lodge member since Jan. 23, 1957 and could well be the longest -serving member in Beartooth Lodge 534.

He and his wife, Gloria, have been married for 38 years and have helped raise a number of grandchildren and foster grandchildren, among them Trevor Watson and John Holman.

Gloria has also been a cook at the Red Lodge Café for 36 years.

Coutts’ accomplishments as a Teamster are many. About 340 ribbons adorn the walls of his home. He has 27 Champion Medals and 30 plus First Place Ribbons. He was installed in The Montana Draft Horses and Mules Hall of Fame in 2007 and has been a Director of that organization for many years and president four times.

Cout ts started hi s Beartooth Wagon & Sleigh Rides business 28 years ago and figures he has driven 16,000 - 17,000 people around Red Lodge since then.

A special career highlight for him was driving a famed Budweiser team down Broadway in Red Lodge in 2013, thanks to the suggestion of Leo Wilson.

Currently, Coutts owns two driving teams, a pair of Percherons and a team of Norwegian Fijords. Watch f o r them dur ing the Parades as Grand Marshal Coutts and his wife, Gloria, ride in a “surrey with the fringe on top” at the front of the Parades.