The Josey Ranch and Its Competitors Don’t Hold Back

 The Josey Ranch and Its Competitors Don’t Hold Back at the Josey Jr World
The Josey Ranch continues to bring in the best from around the world for the 41st Annual Josey Jr. World

MARSHALL, TX – While most sporting events around the world are seeing a decline in participation and attendance, the 41st Annual Josey Jr. World continued to be a “Must Go To” event in barrel racing as 294 contestants from 16 states competed to take home the title in Marshall, Texas on August 13-15. This annual event is the oldest open to the world youth barrel race and has attracted top youth competitors who have gone on to have successful careers in the sport.

The Josey Jr. World is open to barrel racers 20 years old and under and runs in a 4D (or Divisional) format, which allows every competitor an opportunity to earn money. For all of the Josey events, the format for the qualifying rounds is to drag every five draws, big pack every 50, and reverse the order for the second go so that every competitor has an equal opportunity on the ground. The Joseys set the standard when it comes to taking care of the ground for its competitors.

The Med Vet Pharmaceuticals 1st go on Friday and AIP Energy 2nd go on Saturday were qualifying rounds giving each contestant two chances to make it to the Big Tex Championship SHOOT OUT on Sunday. Tristan Bowles from Gainesville, Texas riding Short Okie Lena placed sixth in the Second Go on Saturday with 16.474 before taking the 1D title on Sunday with a time of 16.097. Eight-year-old Charlie Raye Sohrt from Manvel, Texas had the fastest time on Friday before finishing reserve champion on Little Dash Priest with a time of 16.239 on Sunday.

Mckenna Caudle from Horatio, Arkansas finished first in the 2D riding Toxic Tango with a 16.625, Faith Terry from New Waverly, Texas finished first in the 3D riding Mr JB 118 with a time of 17.105 and Kalyn Albright from Tomball, Texas riding Blue Eyed Beauty finished first in the 4D with a time of 18.163.

Last year’s Josey Jr. World winner, Mallory McGee, qualified in the first go with a fast time of 16.395 for the finals on Sunday, but took a no time with a barrel down. Watching her ride was an inspiration to everyone in attendance as she is currently suffering from an eye injury that has left her legally blind.  

“It’s incredible to see a competitor like Mallory fight through the challenges that have been coming at her over the last year,” Martha said. “We are proud to call her a Josey kid.” 

With Great sponsors like AIP Energy, Wards Restaurants, Draw it Out, Davis Chemical, and Pietro’s Pizza of Marshall contestants ran for a $10,000 added money barrel race.  Support of national and local sponsors like Big Tex Trailers, Circle Y Saddles, Med Vet Pharmaceuticals, Purina, Priefert Ranch and Rodeo Equipment, and the Marshall/Harrison County Chamber of Commerce Martha and R.E. Josey had many super prizes this year. Plus, a Big Tex Trailer was awarded to the 1D winner, with a Circle Y Saddle, Shea Michelle custom belt buckle, an American hat, and 500 pounds of Purina feed given to each of the D winners. They also received other sponsor prizes from Med Vet Pharmaceuticals (MVP), custom 5 Star saddle pads, Draw It Out product, Flair Strips, and much more.

Four more competitors also came out winners as recipients of the annual scholarships awarded during the Josey Jr. World. The Carol Hall Adams Scholarship was given to Jasleigh Montagne, with Sarah Buck earning the Josey Ranch Scholarship and Aly Jurica receiving the Joyce Barney Scholarship, and the Shirley Webb Scholarship was awarded to Kaitlyn Foster. The recipient of the annual “Mom Arthur” award that honors Martha’s mother, was presented to Jami Kay Garrison by Oakley Kay Ellis. The final award was the “Cebe Reed Horse with the Most Heart” honoring Martha’s great horse Cebe Reed, who won 52 consecutive barrel races and seven horse trailers. The choices were so difficult this year the committee decided to honor two great horses.  The winners this year were Little Man owned and ridden by Hadlee Huckabee from De Berry, Texas and Little Dash Priest (AKA Snoopy) owned and ridden by Charley Raye Sohrt of Manuel, Texas.

There’s always more than just world class competition at the Josey Jr. World.  On Friday night former Josey student and former Jr. World competitor, and the youngest NBHA world champion barrel racer, Chancie Neal, took the stage on Friday night to put on a show for the competitors, their families and the Marshall community. Neal is a platinum-selling songwriter, opened for Luke Bryan for seven years and is featured on his current album that was nominated for an ACM Award. She kicked off her show with her signature song, “Rodeo Money”, but it wasn’t her typical performance when she was joined on stage by the voice of the Josey Ranch, Randy Adams, who is featured on the recorded version of the song. Adams wowed the crowd, and Neal, when he provided live calls during the song that were reminiscent of Neal’s days running barrels on the ranch. Neal later called her sister, Chesnie, up on the stage to play guitar and sing one of their favorite songs, “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”.

Following in her sister’s footsteps in music and barrel racing, Chesnie qualified for the finals on Sunday.

“I grew up on the Josey Ranch, so this will always be home to me,” Neal said. “What I learned from Mrs. Martha and R.E. not only taught me how to be a champion barrel racer, but a champion in life.”

In addition to the concert that was held during the Fish Fry, the Josey Ranch staff kept everyone entertained throughout the weekend with activities for the whole family, including the NBHA stick horse barrel race, Rope and Run competition, Draw it Out Pony Race, and the hula hoop contest.  More fun was provided by the special guest of the weekend, Abby Poole, Miss Rodeo Texas Teen who also presented the flag during the National Anthem each day. With everything going on at the ranch, visitors were able to unplug from the world to enjoy time with the people around them because when you come to the ranch, you become part of the Josey Family. 

Plans are underway for the 42nd annual Josey Jr. World with the event moving back to the traditional time in May of 2022.

For complete results of the 2021 Josey Jr. World, please visit http://www.barrelracers.com.   

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Scottsville TX 75688

Chasing The Reunion Championship

 Chasing The Reunion Championship
The weekend recap from The 28th Annual Josey Ranch Reunion

MARSHALL, TX – To Josey students there is one title that holds a special significance, and that is the Josey Reunion Championship. The 28th annual Josey Reunion is hosted every year in Marshall Texas, by World Champions R.E. and Martha Josey. This annual event draws contestants from across the world to compete as Josey Students in the Reunion Barrel Race.

This year the ranch hosted 431 contestants from 15 different states. For some this is a title they chase every year, including Waskom barrel racer Sheryl Gamboa.

Gamboa has been attending Josey Clinics since she was eight years old and has run in the Josey Reunion for many years. In 2020 she claimed the Josey Reunion Reserve Championship title, but this year she was after the Championship. Riding her four-year-old partner, Starrin Baby Rose, Gamboa claimed the title with a 16.154 in the Purina Shoot Out.

Before the championship runs action began Thursday night with the merican Hat Company 3D Pole Bending competition. Contenders charged down the Josey alleyway for their chance at the Pole Bending Championship and a set of Josey Pole Bases. Aspen Grant from Buna, TX riding PC Frosted Freedom claimed the champion title with a 20.452.

The Josey Reunion Barrel Race had 431 entries from 16 states vying for the Champion title with the champion taking home a Big Tex trailer. Each Division winner received a Shea Michelle custom belt buckle, Circle Y saddle, an American hat, and 500 pounds of Purina feed. They also received other sponsor prizes from Med Vet Pharmaceuticals (MVP), custom 5 Star saddle pads, Draw It Out product, Flair Strips, and much more.

At Josey events the format for the qualifying rounds is to drag every 5 draws, big pack every 50, and reverse the order for the second go. “This format is not designed to run 50+ every hour,” stated Josey announcer Randy Adams from Cookeville, TN. “It is designed to give every contestant an equal opportunity on the ground instead of it being just a draw contest”. 

The championship barrel races at the Josey Ranch were the first to drag at less than 10 runners, and the first place to use more than one tractor in the arena.

As the sun rose each morning over the piney woods of East Texas, the Josey Reunion started the day as they always do, by flying the Stars and Stripes and an opening prayer followed by the National Anthem. Colors were presented by Amanda Schenck, a member of the Six White Horses Drill Team from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, TX.

The Circle Y Saddlery first round action was intense and saw former Reunion champion Pete Oen from Maysville, OK take the top two qualifying spots, first was on VC Go Go Fling with a time of 16.021, the fastest time of the weekend, 2nd in the 1st Division was Pete Oen riding Margarita Red Rita with a time of 16.215.

Day two of qualifying was sponsored by Priefert Rodeo and Ranch Equipment and started with “America, Why I Love Her” by John Wayne and the flag was presented by Miss Rodeo Texas Bobbi Loran from Scotland, TX. This was followed by the opening prayer and our National Anthem. When the dust settled, Brynn Hinton from Waxahachie, TX riding Legs Gone Wild stopped the clock at 16.148 for the top spot.

Steve Tucker, President of Circle Y Saddlery, presented Martha Josey a commissioned original painting of Martha making a competition run matted by hand tooled leather and a medallion, to commemorate Martha’s induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, CO. and in appreciation of all she and R.E have done for the sport of barrel racing.

Saturday wrapped up with a pony barrel race sponsored by Draw It Out. Harper Knuckles and her pony G-ray took the title with a 17.374. The pony race was followed by a new event – Rope and Run. Rope and Run is a team event with one person roping a dummy calf from the Priefert Speed Trainer then the other partner running a condensed barrel pattern. Time starts when the roper nods and stops when the runner crosses the finish line. While not a rodeo event this was fun for contestants and spectators alike. Brianna Woodmansee and Austin McCalister took the first annual Rope ‘N’ Run Championship title.

Championship Sunday always begins with a church service in the main arena followed by the awarding of scholarships. This year the scholarships were in honor of; Sandy Smith awarded to Dandy Smith, Thomas Mitchell awarded to Jaden Thomas, and Bobby Arthur awarded to Ashton Padon. There was also the presentation of the Sonny Bit O’ Both Horse with the Most Heart

Award. This year’s recipient was DC Dualin Eagles (Cujo) owned and ridden by Faith Gilbreath.

For the Championship Purina Shootout on Sunday the qualifiers from the previous 2 days run from the slowest qualifying time to the fastest. In this format to ensure each contestant has the best possible ground the arena crew drags every 2 draw positions. The short go is a “clean slate” barrel race with no times carried forward from the qualifying rounds.

Following the presentation of Johnny Cash’s “The Ragged Old Flag” and the opening prayer, Keaton Bradberry sang our National Anthem as Miss Rodeo Texas Bobbi Loran presented the colors.

145 qualifiers from 12 different states competed with the title on the line in the Purina Shootout. Last year’s reunion reserve champion, Sheryl Gamboa from Waskom, TX riding Starrin Baby Rose took the lead with 38 competitors left and held on to claim the title. The 2nd Division champion was Bryana Woodmansee from Preston Park, PA with a time of 16.669 aboard AH Miss Cowgirl. The 3rd Divison was won by Catherine Medlock on Eye N Easy. The El Dorado, AR cowgirl stopped the clock at 17.183 for the win. The 4th Division champion title went to the Bluegrass State as Rilee Leasor from Rineyville, KY riding Cesico stopped the clock in a time of 18.276.

It was a great weekend of competition, reuniting with old friends and making new friends – everything a reunion is supposed to be. “Martha and I always try to keep up with our students and their accomplishments both in and out of the arena,” explained R.E. Josey. “Once you are a ‘Josey Kid’ you are always one of ours”. Plans are underway for the 29th annual Josey Ranch

Reunion Roundup as the event will move back to the traditional time in May of 2022.

For complete results of 2021 Josey Reunion, please visit http://www.barrelracers.com.

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Martha Josey Inducted into Prestigious ProRodeo Hall of Fame

 Martha Josey

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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