Buffalo Bill Rodeo volunteers provide horses for state rodeo queens to ride

The 2022 Miss Rodeo America Hailey Frederiksen loves on a horse borrowed from Marvin and Janet...
The 2022 Miss Rodeo America Hailey Frederiksen loves on a horse borrowed from Marvin and Janet Mueller. The rodeo queens ride borrowed horses when they are at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte.(Janet Mueller)
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 5:17 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The visiting state rodeo queens, including Miss Rodeo Nebraska and Miss Rodeo America, will get to ride on horses, hand-picked from herds owned by Marvin and Janet Mueller, of Sutherland, and Tim and Celie Vaughn, of Hershey, at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.

The Muellers and Vaughns bring anywhere from six to 12 head of horses to North Platte, specifically for the visiting rodeo queens to ride during the grand entry each night of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo, which is held June 14-17.

Visiting rodeo queens often fly in or drive from a distance, and are unable to bring their own mounts, which makes it necessary to provide a horse for them while they are at the rodeo.

It takes a special horse for the queens - one that is not only well-broke, but one that is accustomed to the sights and sounds of a rodeo arena and other distractions.

Both Muellers and Vaughns rodeo on their horses. Marvin and daughter BoDell in regional associations like the Mid-States Rodeo Association, and Tim and Celie’s daughters, Shayda, when she was in high school, and Ali, who is still a high school rodeo contestant.

Both families horses are known to be reliable, good mounts.

The Mueller’s horses “are broke,” Janet said. The horses “are hauled (to rodeos), so flags don’t bother them. We want to make sure everybody is safe. They’ve been to enough rodeos, that by the time a rodeo queen steps into the stirrup, they could care less about a flag or a wagon coming in amongst them.”

The Mueller family is well-known for having horses that kids and beginners can ride.

“Everybody expects that we have horses like that,” Janet said. “We take pride in that.”

Marvin is pleased that kids and beginners ask to ride his horses.

“He is happy as a lark when he can fulfill somebody’s dream of roping at the branding pen, or they come to our house to ride,” Janet said. “We let them learn of the love we have for our horses, and share that with other people as well.”

Both Marvin and Janet used to train horses, but back injuries have prevented Janet from training and riding the past few years.

“I’m very proud of my husband’s horse training abilities,” she said.

The Vaughns’ horses have been around the rodeo block as well.

Marvin Mueller with the 2020-2021 Miss Rodeo America Jordan Tierney at the 2021 Buffalo Bill...
Marvin Mueller with the 2020-2021 Miss Rodeo America Jordan Tierney at the 2021 Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte. Mueller, with his wife Janet and friends Tim and Celie Vaughn, provide horses for the rodeo queens to ride at the rodeo.(Janet Mueller)

“Our girls do pole bending, team roping, breakaway roping and barrels on their horses,” Tim said. “Our kids high school rodeo so the horses that we haul have been around. They’ve seen the flags and the crowds and they’ve heard the music.”

The Muellers and Vaughns warm up the horses for the queens, because the women are busy with autograph signings and don’t have the time to ride the horses before the grand entry.

The rodeo is often a must-stop destination for Miss Rodeo state queens from around the area, including Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, and even as far away as Florida and Idaho. They come in on Monday of rodeo week for the Miss Rodeo Nebraska coronation activities and usually stay through the selection of the state queen, held at the rodeo on June 14.

Miss Rodeo America Kennadee Riggs will also be on hand at the rodeo this year.

This year’s Buffalo Bill Rodeo is June 14-17 in North Platte with tickets ranging in price from $11-$24. They can be purchased online at NebraskalandDays.com, at the NebraskalandDays office, and at the gate. Performances will begin nightly at 8 pm.