J. Gary Adams, a SaddleBrooke resident, and a retired FBI Agent, was set with the assignment of protecting Queen Elizabeth II during her three-day visit to Sheridan, Wyoming in 1984. At the time, Adams didn’t think this task was that unusual, mentioning, “I had worked several security details [prior].”
What stood out to him the most, however, was that his bosses had approved the use of his horses.
The Queen’s visit was a vacation stop, reportedly, visiting Wyoming, then continuing her way to horse farms in Kentucky.
Adams recalls her visit, “First, the Queen went to Dinner at Maverick Supper Club and ordered from the menu a queen filet. It was the first time she had ever ordered from a menu! They also blocked off a portion of Main Street to vehicle traffic when she visited downtown Sheridan. She visited Ritz Sporting Goods. The owner, Sam Mavrakis gave her a handmade graphite fly rod and a box of hand tied flies for Prince Philip. During her visit, she also visited King’s Saddlery (internationally known for Kings ropes). She was given a hand tooled leather wastebasket. She bought a pair of leather gloves for herself and gifts for the rest of the family.”
An article about Adam’s efforts published in the Riverton Ranger on October 23, 1984, explains that Adams “didn’t have much personal contact with [the Queen], but she [did] notice him and told some Secret Service men what she thought of him.” Calling him a “colorful cowboy.”
According to Adams, he didn’t remember her comments until the article came out in the Riverton Ranger. He did explain of himself, “I usually dressed in western attire (minus the hat) while assigned to Pine Ride Indian Reservation, South Dakota; Navajo, Hopi and Apache Reservations in Arizona; and Riverton, Wyoming, Resident Agency.”
Adams did not realize the significance of his assignment in 1984, until the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022. “The publicity of her life and passing really made me appreciate being a small part of her history. I grieved too,” he said.
In April, 1990, after just under 21-years with the FBI, Adams retired, taking the Chief of Security Position with the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson, Wyoming. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming was part of his territory with FBI Riverton.