Cowboy Joe blanket

Cowboy Joe Handlers

Cowboy Joe standing with his four handlers in the fall of 2021

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 the 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 are the embodiment of 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, just to name a few.  Cowboy Joe's handlers demonstrate school spirit and care for the rambunctious, adorable pony mascot at all of his events. 


Current Cowboy Joe Handlers

(Pictured left to right)

Kendra Halder has been Joe’s handler since April of 2018. Kendra is a junior majoring in Animal Science with a double concentration in equine science and production along with a minor in marketing. Her hometown is Yampa, Colorado. Kendra is a student ambassador and a volunteer shooting sports coach for her shooting team back home. (Photo credit: Jahsh Sanchez)

Payton Hallsted has been a Cowboy Joe Handler since the fall of 2018. She is a senior majoring in Animal and Veterinary Sciences with a Pre-Veterinary concentration and minors in Ag Business and Human and Animal Physiology. She is also a College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Ag Ambassador as well as the Collegiate 4-H club President. Her hometown is Casper, Wyoming. 

Julia Halmay has been Joe's handler since fall of 2018, and now holds the title of Head Handler. Julia is a senior majoring in Animal and Veterinary Science with an Equine concentration. She is from Dubois, Wyoming and enjoys hiking, skiing, and anything outdoors! Outside of being a handler, Julia is the Public Relations chair for Sigma Alpha sorority, and volunteers with the ARK Equestrian Center. 

Darci Wintermote has been Joe's handler since April of 2021. Darci is a junior majoring in Animal Science with a concentration in production along with a minor in Ag Business. Her hometown is Walden, Colorado. She enjoys hunting, hiking, and anything to do with cattle and horses. She is a student worker at the UW Meat Laboratory.

Cowboy Joe Handler, Kendra Halder
Cowboy Joe handler, Payton Hallsted
Cowboy Joe handler, Julia Halmay
Cowboy Joe handler, Darci Wintermote

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. 


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