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October 2016

Harry Drackert was one of the great supporters of the Reno Rodeo throughout much of its history, a relationship that started in the early 1930s and continued until his death in 1990.

Harry Wilmont Drackert was born Dec. 23, 1904, in Pony, Mont. By the age of 16, he was working the local rodeo circuit. After graduation from high school in 1924, he continued to enter rodeos and eventually became Champion Cowboy of America at Madison Square Garden in New York.

In 1931, after being named the North American Champion at the Calgary Stampede, Drackert gave up rodeo competition and moved to Reno, where he became a riding instructor for Baker Stables. He later owned his own stables in Reno, north Lake Tahoe and San Francisco.

In 1932, he helped organize “Pony Express Days” in Reno and in 1936 he joined Charles Sadeir in organizing the return of the Reno Rodeo.After World War II Drackert owned Mt. Rose Guest Ranch. From 1945-56, he owned the Pyramid Lake Guest Ranch, which became nationally famous for because it catered to easterners establishing their Nevada residency for the purpose of a divorce.

In 1959, Drackert and his wife owned the Donner Trail Guest Ranch in Verdi, where Joan managed the business and Harry operated the outdoor aspects of the ranch. Drackert was one of the original members of the Reno Rodeo Association, serving its board for many years and as its president in 1968.

Harry Drackert died in Dec. 26, 1990, at the age of 86.

The stories for the Count Down to 100 are excerpts from “A History – The First 80 Years” by Guy Clifton.

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