To the Gator Bowl with a Crosley and a pony.
- View SourceBy BOB HAMMOND
Don Joder (pronounced 'Yoder') who never played for the University of Wyoming Cowboys football team, remains one of the most prominent figures in Wyoming's football tradition as the Shetland pony Cowboy Joe's first and only handler in 1950.
After World War II, there was a resurgence of Wyoming athletics when the school opened new facilities: War Memorial Stadium for football and War Memorial Fieldhouse for basketball.
Joder was a sophomore at UW in 1950 when a group was formed to support Cowboys athletics. One of its duties was to take charge of a young Shetland pony at home games. "Nobody wanted to do it, including me," Joder recalled, but he did anyway. His folks had Arabian horses and he trained them, shod them and showed them.
The Cowboys ended 1950 unbeaten; then came the invitation to the Gator Bowl, where the Cowboys were to meet Washington & Lee. Joder and Cowboy Joe were put on a train to Florida with a stop in Kansas City. "We were in a baggage car, and we had a Crosley station wagon. It was a little, tiny car with two big boards that were about 10 inches wide and 15 feet long that we put up against the train to roll us on and off. So, there I was in Florida with a car and a pony," he added. Wyoming won the Gator Bowl game 20-7.