On April 20th, 2020 the ProRodeo Hall of Fame announced their prestigious list of 2020 inductees. Marshall, Texas native, 11 time NFR qualifier and 1980 WPRA World Champion, Martha Josey was selected as the only female rodeo competitor to be inducted that year. Because of the pandemic the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and their inductees have been patiently waiting to celebrate their inductions.
The ProRodeo Hall of Fame boasts one of the most esteemed collections of legendary cowboys and cowgirls in the nation. To be selected as an inductee is the highest honor for a rodeo competitor, stock contractor, contract personnel, and even livestock.
During her 50 year career as a professional barrel racer, Martha won every championship you can win. Martha began her domination of the barrel racing scene in the 1960’s. She and Cebe Reed won every barrel race they attended claiming multiple association titles, and quarter horse show championships.
Her first year competing in the Girl’s Rodeo Association (GRA), now the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA), she qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1968. Martha then went on to qualify 10 more times across 4 decades on 6 different horses. In 1980, Martha and her iconic horse Sonny Bit O’ Both won both the WPRA World Championship and the AQHA World Championship in the same year; a record that hasn’t been matched to this day. In 1988, Martha qualified to compete at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games. After the dust settled, she walked away an Olympic Bronze Medalist and Team Gold Medalist.
While still competing, Martha and husband R.E. felt called to share their hard-earned knowledge with other aspiring barrel racers and calf ropers. In 1967 Martha and R.E. Josey held their first barrel racing clinic. Fast forward 52 years and the Josey Ranch, located in Marshall, Texas, is now synonymous with superior barrel racing instruction. Martha, R.E., and their team have trained over 300,000 students with many going on to win big in the arena. A few notable names that got their start at the Josey Ranch are: Fallon Taylor, Mary Walker, Jimmie Smith, Lynn McKenzie, and Angie Meadors.
The Josey Ranch is also known for hosting the renowned Josey Reunion and Josey Jr. World Barrel Races that bring in over 5,000 competitors and fans each year. Over the years it is estimated that over 2 million visitors have crossed through the gates of the Josey Ranch. Martha and R.E. Josey prove that the mark of a true legend is in the champions that they train.
“I was completely shocked by the call that I was being inducted,” Martha states. “I have dreamed of being a member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame for as long as I can remember, this is such an honor. Thank you to all my students, fans, sponsors, and especially my all time favorite coach R.E. Josey. I couldn’t have done it without all of y’all!”
Martha can now add the ProRodeo Hall of Fame to her illustrious list of inductions from other Hall of Fame’s including the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame, and the Ark-La-Tex Sports Museum Hall of Fame.
Martha traveled to Colorado Springs for her induction July 14th.
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