Determination, tenacity, and will to win are characteristics of all great champions. The 2023 43rd Annual Josey Jr World Champion, Harlie Parrish, was certainly no exception.
Parrish was one of 258 contestants traveling from 13 states to run in the oldest and most prestigious open to the world youth barrel race.
Friday started the Resistiol / Priefert First Go barrel race bringing many fast times. Running the fastest time of the day was Rita Durrum and her partner “Fabulous Rocketariat” from Mt Pleasant, Texas with a 16.176 second run.
Saturday’s Race brought contestants another chance to compete in the finals on Sunday. The Professionals Choice / Purina Second Go was tough competition as Savannah Toon, from Smithville, Texas ran a 16.356 on her partner “Little Mister Attitude”.
Each year the Josey Ranch host a live auction during Saturday's race to benefit the Scholarship fund. Many items are donated each year and sold in the auction, including the event barrels with the previous years champion on the barrels. This year the barrels were bought by last year's champion Jordan Brown's Father after he drove 5 hours to Marshall, TX to surprise his daughter and buy them.
Championship Sunday began, as it always does Cowboy Church followed by the Scholarship presentation, Horse with the Most Heart, and the Purina Horse of the Year awards. Over the last 40 years, the Josey Ranch has given over $400,000 away in scholarships to contestants and students. This year the Josey Ranch gave four scholarships in honor of Martha’s late husband and co-founder of Josey Enterprises R.E. Josey, Joyce Barney the vision behind the Josey Jr World Barrel Race and Josey Calf Roping Instructor Jeb Barney’s mother, a Josey Ranch Scholarship, and Bob Arthur Martha’s brother and Gary’s Father.
Scholarship recipients are chosen after an application process based on their accomplishments and goals for their schooling. The applications are reviewed by a Josey Ranch committee and selected based on a group decision. Destin McGree received the R.E. Josey Scholarship, Makenna Johnson received the Joyce Barney Scholarship, Reina Sanderson received the Josey Ranch Scholarship, and Morgan Lydia Bridqeman received the Bob Arthur Scholarship.
During this time the Josey Ranch also hosted its very first high school graduation walk as contestant Carlie Jacks, chose to attend the Josey Jr World barrel race over her graduation ceremony. As a surprise her mother had the diploma mailed to the ranch to be presented on the Josey stage.
The Josey Ranch 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 selected horse was “Guy’s Voodoo Bug” last week’s Reunion Champion. “Guys Voodoo Bug” also known as Jock, is a former Josey Jr World Champion with a different Jockey. Kylar Terlip won two Josey Jr World Championships riding Jock in 2016 and 2017. This year he is 20 years old and won the Josey Reunion barrel race.
Josey Ranch added a new award to the Josey Jr World this year with their long-time sponsor Purina. The Josey Jr World Purina Horse of the Year award was given to Rylee Jo Maryman with her Purina-fed horse “One Cupa Tees Sis”.
Tammy Berry was this year’s recipient of the annual “Mom Arthur” award, an award in honor of Martha Josey’s mother, nominated by her daughter and contestant Emma Berry.
Barrel Racers from 12 different states qualified for the Big Tex Trailers Short go. Parrish was runner number 125 out of 139. Running from Slowest Qualifying Time to Fastest Qualifying Time the race for the championship comes down to the last few runners. Parrish qualified with a 16.562 putting her in the bottom of the 1D as a qualifier. She and her partner “SV Chasin Moonshine”, who she purchased from the Josey Ranch, entered the arena with determination to win the race and they did just that with a winning time of 16.239.
Following Parrish and was the second division (or 2D) champion, Rita Durrum from Mt Pleasant, TX riding “Fabulous Rocketariat”, with a time of 16.743. The 3D title, belonged to Maggie Lee, Bossier City, LA, riding “Barons Dashin Cleat”, with a time of 17.286, and the 4D title was claimed by Reina Sanderson from South Bend, IN riding “Cliffhelenas Jet” with a time of 18.490.
Full Results from each round of the Josey Reunion can be found here.