Cowboy Joe blanket

Cowboy Joe Handlers

Cowboy Joe Handlers

Cowboy Joe Running

Cowboy Joe's handlers have the privilege of working with and grooming Joe before events, trailering him to events, and showing him off at home football games and other community and university functions. Handlers have the unique opportunity to spend time with Cowboy Joe and express their deep-rooted passion for the history of the University of Wyoming. Cowboy Joe represents a long-standing tradition and is an attraction to adults and children alike. Cowboy Joe and his handlers embody the slogan, The World Needs More Cowboys. Joe travels with his handlers to all home football games, parades around the state, UW graduation, the National Western Stock Show, Wyoming State Fair, and The Border Wars against Colorado State University, to name a few. Cowboy Joe's handlers demonstrate school spirit and care for the rowdy, adorable pony mascot at all his events.      

Current Handlers

McKinley Muhlbauer & Cowboy Joe


McKinley Muhlbauer, based in Clark, Colorado, has been a Cowboy Joe handler since April of 2022 and currently holds the position of Head Handler. As a senior majoring in Agricultural Communications with a minor in Agriculture Business, McKingley is deeply involved in the world of agriculture. In addition to her academic commitments, she enjoys horseback riding, hunting, and the art of leather tooling. McKingley also contributes as a student worker at the UW Meat Laboratory.

Cowboy Joe Handler Kali Soudani

Kali, a Cowboy Joe handler since 2023, is a first-year law student with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, having graduated in 2023. Originating from Denver, Colorado, she aspires to specialize in tax law and forensic and fraud accounting after completing her studies. Outside the realm of academia, Kali finds solace in the company of her horse, enjoys thrilling snowboarding escapades, and embraces the great outdoors while hiking with her faithful canine companion.

Alex Rigsby and Cowboy Joe run the field

Alexa Rigsby has been a Cowboy Joe handler since 2023. Hailing from Cambridge, Minnesota. She is pursuing a degree in Psychology and plans to undertake a graduate certificate program in Elementary Education upon completing her bachelor's. On top of her academic pursuits, she is a dedicated member of the UW Ranch Horse Versatility Team. Beyond her involvement in equestrian sports, she finds joy in spending time with her horses and friends, indulging in hiking adventures, and engaging in various crafting activities.

Cowboy Joe Handler Ashley

Ashley Cowser, a senior majoring in Agriculture Communications, joined the cowboy Joe handler team in 2023, representing Waterford, Pennsylvania. Beyond her role as a handler, Ashley channels her creativity into writing cowboy poetry and is an active member of the Laramie trap shooting league. She shares her passion for the outdoors with her loyal lab companion, Brynlee, through hunting adventures.

Cowboy Joe V

Cowboy Joe V running the end zone at a Wyoming Cowboys football game.

Fans of the University of Wyoming Cowboy football enjoy watching Cowboy Joe V, a fifth generation Wyoming mascot, as the pony trots around War Memorial Stadium after each Cowboy score. This 7-year old Shetland pony is more than just a mascot at Cowboy and Cowgirl events - he loves to meet people and is very popular with the kids. Next time you see Cowboy Joe V be sure to stop and say hello!

Cowboy Joe is a tradition which started in 1950 when the Farthing Family of Cheyenne made a generous donation of a young pony to become Wyoming's mascot. Cowboy Joe also represents UW in parades around the region, appears in Tailgate Park on football game days and leads the band and team in the pre-game Cowboy Walk.