For Rodeo Contestants and Barrel Racers December brings dreams of running in the Thomas and Mack, competing in the NFR, but how do you get there? Why, you go to learn from someone who has been there before!
Upon her return from Las Vegas to accept the Lenora Reimers Heritage Award presented by the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA), World Champion Barrel Racer Martha Josey and her talented staff of instructors hosted 76 barrel racers for the Annual Year End Clinic.
Students of all ages had the opportunity to learn from 11x National Finals Rodeo Contestant, 1980 WPRA World Champion, and Olympic Medalist Martha Josey and her accredited group of instructors.
Barrel Racers flooded the town of Marshall, Texas just two days after Christmas eager to work on their horsemanship and barrel racing. Students learned about winning techniques, slow work drills, proper equipment, nutrition, video review, and more.
The clinic was filled with several talented horse and rider teams with many riders making their first trip to the Josey Ranch. Besides having students from 11 different states in attendance there were also two different third generational families riding in this clinic. The Woodson Family drove over from Keithville, LA to brush up on their barrel racing skills. Mom Kelli, and her 2 daughters Madelyn, 5 and Savannah, 8 all 3 rode in the clinic carrying on the family tradition started by Kelli’s Father-In-Law John Woodson, who first came to the Josey Ranch way back in 1967 at the very first Josey School. John eventually ended up working as an instructor for Josey Ranch as well.
The second generational student was 15-year-old Madilyn Thomas from Cuero, TX. She was cheered on by both her mom, a former Josey student, and her grandmother who was inspired to race in her youth by watching Martha Josey compete.
After a chilly 2 and half days of training, the students tacked up one final time to compete in their final runs on Sunday afternoon after attending Cowboy Church. The afternoon brought improvement across the board as students knocked multiple seconds off their runs. The race was run in a 4D format allowing students to take the chance to improve their original times from Tuesday night. Third generation racer Savannah Woodson and her horse Petey kicked off the race with a 33.34 second time, which was almost 60 seconds faster than her initial run earning her the coveted “Most Improved” award. From there on out each horse and rider team went out and gave their all attempting to win the title of Clinic Champion.
Another 8-year-old student, Brileigh Fordham from Petal, MS was the first rider to break the 18 second mark with a 17.959. She held that lead for quite a while but got bumped by 16-year-old Averie Cornell from Mt. Vernon, TX who ran a 17.777. From that point on the race was a true nail biter as students started getting competitive and clocking those faster times.
In the end 13-year-old Jaiden Stephens, from Achilee, OK took the clinic championship with her partner Dewalt with a final run time of 17.225, winning herself a brand-new Martha Josey Saddle. The 2D winner was 12-year-old Scarlett Hallingsworth from Dyersburg, TN running a 17.741. Following in the 3D was Kate Chappell, a 13-year-old from Sikeston, MO with an 18.325. 14-year-old Alexis Villareal from Cuero, TX won the 4D with a 19.334.
With the conclusion of the Year End Clinic, the Josey staff is already starting preparations for their 2024 Clinic Season with 15 Clinics, four Weeklong Schools, and three Big Barrel Races.
2024 expands the Josey Clinic season adding a second Adult Only Clinic to the schedule for September 6th - 8th of 2024. The Josey Staff is excited for the 2024 season and all the fun and excitement it brings to the town of Marshall.