Tom Triplet, my step father, was inducted into the Montana Draft Teamster Hall of Fame at the 13th annual Big Sky Draft Horse Expo in Deer Lodge, Montana.
Tom comes from a family of horsemen, dating back to the days when Tripletts were friends and neighbors of George Washington, and his ancestors took Washington’s guests fox hunting and did the future president’s carpentry work.
His parents moved from Missouri to Oklahoma in horse drawn wagons before his birth, then back to Missouri and later on to Montana. Four years before Tom was born they moved in wagons from Plentywood Montana to the Flathead Valley, west of the Continental Divide.
For Tom, horsepower was the only source of transportation and power into his early adult years. He logged with horses, worked mules in the forest service grading landing strips, skidding poles, putting up hay and more.
Through his years of draft horse and mule work, he developed the depth and breadth of expertise and experience that can only come from daily hands on work- privately and professionally. His knowledge of the horse was clearly stated when one of his nominators into the Hall of Fame explained, “as a horseman, Tom Triplett may not be able to walk on water, so to speak, but he could sure enough get a horse or a mule to do it.”
Triplett’s depth of knowledge, experience and patience, his commitment to safety and the comfort and the well being of the animals, and his obsession with figuring how to get everything “jeeest right”- which all combined, puts him in a class of his own among horsemen.