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44th Annual Josey Jr World

44th Annual Josey Jr World

Rylee Jo Maryman set a new Josey record by winning all 3 go-rounds of the 2024 Josey Jr World 4D Barrel Race, in Marshall, TX this past weekend.  The 16-year-old from St Francisville, Louisiana dominated the weekend by winning all three go-rounds against some very tough competition.  She qualified for the short go on 4 different horses and was looking for a clean sweep to win the Big Tex/ Cimmaron Trailer.  Running from the slowest qualifying time to the fastest, Rylee Jo had the last two runs of the short go to try and take the lead. She had to beat a 16.502 and did just that, running a 16.415 on her horse “WYO Starlight Special” a 10-year-old mare that Rylee Jo trained and first brought to a Josey clinic back in 2018, winning over $7500 and a new Martha Josey Saddle.  

Rylee Jo, a Josey student who started coming to clinics as an 8-year-old, attributes her terrific runs to hard work, a great feed program, and the right tack allowing her to be so competitive in the barrel pen.

Riley Jo making her winning run in the Short Go. 

 “I’ve been riding Circle Y Saddles from the beginning and really feel like they help me succeed,” said Rylee Jo who also states that her choice of Purina Strategy really gives her horses the edge they need.  “It was an amazing weekend, and I am so blessed to be able to come compete at the Josey Ranch every year for the Josey Jr World.”

In 1980 Martha Josey won the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)  World Championship and quickly followed that title with the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) World Championship. Among these great accomplishments, she was not done making her impact in the rodeo and barrel racing industry.

Returning to her home in Marshall, Texas Martha and her friend Joyce Barney decided to start the largest youth barrel race in the world, naming it the Josey Jr World.  Part of the planning included implementing groundbreaking procedures such as dragging after every 5 runners and having 3 tractors to ensure the ground is perfect for competitors and dragging after every 2 riders in the short go.

The 44th Josey Jr World concluded on May 12th 2024.

Open to any barrel racer 20 years old and under, the Josey Jr World has grown to be the premier barrel racing event in the country bringing young barrel racers from across the country to compete at the 3-day event for a Big Tex Trailer, large cash payouts and many other prizes. 2024 brought racers from 12 states. Competitors from 10 different states made the short go.

The event kicked off on May 10th with Josey Announcer, Randy Adams leading in prayer and Miss Rodeo Princess Texas, Peyton Robertson, Former Rodeo Princess, Abby Poole, and East Texas trick rider, Katie Lynn English performing the US Flag presentation. Each contestant had two chances to make the short-go finals on Sunday as the top 20 of each division each day qualified. Friday’s Race was won by Rylee Jo Maryman with an impressive time of 15.902.  

After Friday’s Race, contestants prepared for another chance to compete in the finals on Sunday. The Second Go on Saturday was tough competition as Rylee Jo Maryman claimed the round again with a 16.075 on the same horse “One Cupa Tee Sis” a roan mare she has owned for about 6 years and trained herself. This team just recently took the world by storm by placing 3rd at the 2024 American Rodeo in Arlington, TX back in March. 

Taking the top 20 barrel racers in each division each day the short go filled to 136 barrel racers running for the Big Tex Trailer, $10,000 added money, and other great prizes from the Josey Ranch sponsors.

Before the finals begin, the Josey Ranch hosts Cowboy Church on Sunday morning followed by scholarships and awards. Over the last 40 years, the Josey Ranch has given over $350,000 in scholarships to contestants and students. This year the Josey Ranch gave three scholarships in honor of Joyce Barney the inspiration behind the Josey Jr World, Bobby Arthur Martha’s brother and father to Josey Instructor/ Martha’s nephew Gary Arthur, and Amy (Humble) Goodknight, the 1987 Josey Jr World Champion and mother to Charlie Goodknight who was also a contestant this weekend.

Scholarship recipients are chosen after an application process based on their accomplishments and goals for their education. The applications are reviewed by a Josey Ranch committee and selected based on a group decision. Seeley Rae Thompson, a 17-year-old from Blakely, Georgia received the Joyce Barney Scholarship, Creedence Crowe an 18-year-old from Happy, Texas received the Bobby Arthur Scholarship, and 18-year-old Grace Kay Woolcott from Horatio, Arkansas received the Amy (Humble) Goodknight Scholarship

The Josey Ranch also gives a “Horse with the Most Heart” award in remembrance of Martha’s horse “Cebe Reed”, Martha’s first great horse winner of 52-barrel races in a row and seven horse trailers. This year the applicants were so impressive, the Josey Ranch selected three horses that deserve this honor.

The first recipient was “Ima Boonedoc Playboy” owned by 11-year-old Madi Spoonemore, from Detroit, Texas. The second selected horse was “HH ColoursDashinDoll” owned by Kyna Hudman, a 20-year-old from Post, Texas and the final team from De Berry, Texas was “Little Man” owned by 12-year-old Harper Bourg.

Following the Horse with the most heart awards the Josey Jr World “Purina Horse of the Year” award. As a long-time partner of the Josey Ranch Purina Horse Feeds partners with the Ranch to award 500 lbs. of feed to one horse at the Josey Jr World each year. This year’s “Purina Horse of the Year” went to “No Pressure Here” and his owner, 17-year-old Emmi Randolph from Moulton, AL.

The last award to be given was the annual “Mom Arthur” Award in honor of Martha Josey’s Mother and given on Mother’s Day every year. Stacie Hines was this year’s recipient of the annual “Mom Arthur” award, nominated by her daughter and contestant Brileigh Hines.

After the Church Service and awards ceremony excitement started to fill the air as an impressive bunch of contestants ran for over $60,000 in cash payouts, the Big Tex/ Cimarron Trailer, four saddles, and many other great prizes.

Coming right on Rylee Jo’s heels to end as the Reserve Champion with a 16.502 was 9-year-old Della Grace Groves from Joaquin, TX riding her horse “Badgers Royal Run”. Della Grace has been competing since she was 3 years old and already won 12 saddles and many buckles.  She also plays softball and competes in gymnastics.

The 2D was won by nine-year-old Ava Rafferty, from Joaquin, Texas riding  her 17-year-old horse “Duncans Zorro” with a time of 16.926. Ava is a 6-time Josey Student who came to her first clinic at the age of four. She is no stranger to the pay window and is already winning big around the state of Texas.  

The 3D Champion title belongs to the 14-year-old Clarksville, Texas contestant Jett Raulston riding the 15-year-old gelding “Shelty's Smoke” with a time of 17.426.  Jett is a member of the BBR, Jr WPRA, and the UPRA and has won many titles.  

The 4D title was claimed by Charley Ann Merriwether a 15-year-old from Diboll, Texas riding her 12-year-old horse “Fletch Has A Pistol” with a time of 18.416. Charley also competes in High School Rodeo and is active in her community.

Top 40 short go champions with the Big Tex Trailer.

There was also an award for the fastest Paint Horse, sponsored by Back on Track.  That title and prize, a nice set of Back on Track Quick Wraps, went to 17-year-old Emorie Comer, from Gilmer, TX on her great horse, “Ruby Gem”.  Josey Ranch would like to extend a huge Thank You to the APHA for coming out and joining the 2024 Josey Jr World and adding the $500 added money side pot for these great paint horse athletes.

Horses, trucks, and trailers were all over the Beautiful Josey Ranch grounds. “The caliber of horses and riders were incredible,” said Martha Josey. “It was a tough, tough barrel race. Thanks to Jarvis Equipment from Teague TX and Lufkin Tx, Suvoy Rosser and his great team of tractor drivers the ground stayed consistent all weekend. “

Other fun things were the Dog Race sponsored by Petsense, the Rope N Run by Josey Ranch, the Calf Scramble by Josey Ranch, the Hula Hoop Contest by Marj Dahle, and the Stick Horse Race first started by Martha Josey and sponsored by the NBHA.

The award ceremony was impressive as 40 competitors took home prizes. Martha would like to thank all her great sponsors and her great Josey team.

With the conclusion of the Josey Jr World, the Josey Ranch Staff begin preparation for their 56th year of Barrel Racing and Calf Roping weeklong schools in June. The ranch will host students from all over the United States.   


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