In 1967 Martha Josey was competing in the rodeo arena with great success on her legendary horse Cebe Reed alongside her late husband R.E. Josey. The pair made an iconic duo in the barrel racing and calf roping events at the beginning of their careers with great success to come throughout their professional careers. With the idea of sharing their knowledge, the pair headed to Martha’s hometown of Marshall, Texas to host a rodeo school. Today the Josey Ranch welcomes students to their annual schools for the 56th year in a row.
For the last 56 years, the Josey Ranch has eagerly opened its gates to students from across the world to host some of the fastest-filling calf roping, breakaway, and barrel racing schools in the nation.
“The summer schools are always my favorite,” World Champion Barrel Racer Martha Josey explained. “When we started it was one school and we had about 50 students. Their parents dropped them off at the ranch and we kept them here for two weeks teaching them how to barrel race and rope calves. Now we have to take a waiting list months in advance because there are so many students who want to come every year!”
The first weeklong school hosted 83 barrel racers and 53 calf ropers traveling from 13 different states. Students worked all week on the Josey Ranch in three different arenas, the roping alley, and the classroom as students learned about winning techniques, mindsets, and how to keep their horses in winning condition.
On the final day of the weeklong school students competed for the chance to take home trophy saddles, buckles, and a Priefert Calf Chute. The competition started with the grand entry and trick riding from Katie English followed by the barrel racers. Keri Aucoin claimed the Josey Circle Y Lightspeed Trophy saddle after also winning the Wednesday night match race.
The ropers followed the barrel race and crowned several champions. Molly Davis was the breakaway roping champion, Trenton Neugent was the tie down roping champion, Whit Barnet the ribbon roping champion, and Cougar Racca claimed the All Around Championship taking home the Priefert Calf Chute.
Following the first school, the barrel racing instructors will host a 3 day clinic June 13-15 with 86 students traveling from 10 different states. After the 3 day clinic, the Ranch will finish up their summer events by hosting another week-long school with 79 barrel racers and 48 breakaway ropers traveling from 16 different states.
The Josey roping staff is comprised entirely of former students. Chad Henry, Agriculture Professor at Northeast Texas Community College, and Jeb Barney, manager at Mark West Energy, lead the calf roping along with NFR Qualifier Kincade Henry, Cheyenne Harper, Spence Barney, Bryce Barney, Troy Aucoin, Keely Henry, and Kaitlyn Heath. Many of these instructors are actively competing on the pro rodeo circuit themselves.
While the ropers will be running down the roping alley the arenas will be filled with barrel racers led by Martha Josey with her talented team of instructors. Ty Mitchell, 4 time Josey Jr World Champion will give instruction with Martha’s nephew Gary Arthur, and long-time friends and trainers Terry Thomas, Pam Randall, and Lisa Mitchell. Along with several former Josey Students, now instructors, Elaine Lambino, Whitney Bettis, Ashley Schenck, Marje Dahle, Landin English, and Kaile Grace, Caitlin Wilson.
Students will work daily and receive one on one training in three different arenas, and the roping alley. They will be taught winning techniques, slow work drills, proper animal nutrition, the importance of proper equipment, and so much more. On the final day of their stay, students will compete to showcase their newly learned skills. The Champions of each event will win saddles, buckles, and other prizes.
The Josey Ranch host events year-round for barrel racers and ropers of all ages. Open to the public anyone is welcome to come watch the students train and compete. More information can be found on barrelracers.com.