CARRYING ROYALTY: Long-time queen and flag horse retires

Posted in: Featured, Rodeo

A very special horse carried his last rodeo queen in June.

Kearney, a 21-year-old bay roan American Quarter Horse, owned by Marvin and Janet Mueller of Sutherland, Neb., has carried seven years’ worth of Miss Rodeo America queens at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte.

And his last mount was the 2022 Miss Rodeo America, Hailey Frederiksen.


Marvin Mueller stands with Kearney, his well-loved rodeo queen horse, and the 2022 Miss Rodeo America Hailey Frederiksen. Frederiksen was his final queen ride.

Kearney has the perfect personality to carry queens, Marvin said. “He’s just a nice gentle horse. He’d never hurt anybody intentionally, and they all love him.”

He’s also put in his time as a team roping horse for Marvin, in both the heading and the heeling. “We’ve lined a lot of steers on him,” he said. “He has a lot of run and is really level-headed. I’ve won a pile of money on him,” in both the NSRA and the Mid-States Rodeo Association.

In late July, Marvin pulled Kearney out of semi-retirement for a Nebraska State Rodeo Association rodeo in Bladen, Neb. His young horse wasn’t working out, so Kearney got roping duty.

He’s been a teacher, and will continue to teach, the young ones how to rope. “There have been so many little kids who learn to rope in the branding pen on him,” he said. “He’s the local kid horse right now.”


A little girl learns to rope on Kearney in the branding pen.


Kearney got his name from the town in which he was purchased, Kearney, Neb., where the Haythorns were selling him as a four-year old. His registered name is Fiddlin Wild 017.

He’ll still do light duty, Marvin said, but there will be no more trips to the hills to gather cows, and no more rodeo queen hot laps, and no more sweeping the arena after the roping events.

He’s not for sale, Marvin said, although he’s had plenty of offers for him. “He’ll never be for sale,” he said. “If I had a thousand of him, I could sell them all.”

Prior to this year’s Miss Rodeo America, Kearney was ridden by the 2020-2021 Miss Rodeo America Jordan Tierney.


Jordan Tierney stands with Kearney and Marvin at the 2021 Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte.

Posted in: Featured, Rodeo

About Ruth Nicolaus

Ruth is a rodeo publicist who loves the Great Plains and its people. She can be found behind the chutes at a rodeo, working in her flower garden, or cooking, some of her favorite things to do....

View all posts by Ruth Nicolaus