For some, living on the rodeo road embracing the life of a cowgirl seems foreign, others are born for it. Living legend Martha Josey was born to be a cowgirl, building a career in the Rodeo Industry as a World Champion Barrel Racer and Clinician.
Martha’s career started running barrels and all-around titles in the 1960s with her first great horse Cebe Reed. Her running skill in the arena with an exceptional horse got her noticed by many, but that was only the start of her career.
Through five decades Martha went on to accomplish multiple World Championships in the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), Womens Professionals Rodeo Association (WPRA), National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA), and two Olympic Medals at the 1986 Winter Olympics in Calgary Canada.
Martha’s career led her to multiple Hall of Fame Inductions across the country including her most recent accolade, the 2022 recipient of the Tad Lucas Award.
Barbara Inez “Tad” Lucas, a trick riding legend, left her mark on the rodeo industry competing as a trick rider winning many world championships through international competition. She competed with spirit, courage, and compassion from her teens until her 60s leaving her career revered by women in the western industry across the world.
In an effort to recognize women performers who have noteworthy achievements in the sport of rodeo, Tad Lucas’s family chooses a recipient of the coveted award each year to be presented during a western recognition ceremony at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
Martha was chosen as her career has greatly impacted the rodeo industry not only as a rodeo competitor but also as a world-renowned clinician. Although known as one of the most iconic barrel racers of all time, Martha initially competed in multiple rodeo events including, roping, goat tying, pole bending, bronc riding, and even cutting. Her natural ability and intense drive won her championships in all events.
Today Martha continues to dedicate her time and energy to the sport of rodeo through teaching. Barrel racers and ropers of all ages travel from across the world to learn at the historic Josey Ranch which is home to the longest-running Rodeo School in the world.
The Josey Ranch has just begun its 56th year of Barrel Racing, Roping Clinics, Schools and World Famous Barrel Races.
Along with the 14 Clinics and Schools, Martha and her staff are hosting multiple three day barrel racing events. The 30th Annual Josey Reunion Barrel Race on May 4th-7th is a 4D Race open to all Josey Students. This event will be followed by the iconic Josey Jr World barrel Race on May 11th – 14th, a 4D race open to any barrel racer 20 years old and under. This race has an unprecedented track record of running 43 years, paying high stakes to the junior racers of the world as they chase their dreams in the arena.
New to the Josey calendar for 2023 will be the Josey Gold Cup Senior Race on October 13th – 15th. This exciting new race is open to riders 50 and up and is designed to give senior incentive racers a chance at a big payout. On top of the 5D placings, Josey Ranch will be awarding a prize for the fastest rider of each age group, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Trends show that barrel racers are no longer willing to hang up their spurs just because they have aged a little and Josey Ranch supports the “live life to the fullest” mindset 100%.
“I have been blessed with great horses and great students throughout my life,” says World Champion Barrel Racer Martha Josey. “I always work to make each year better than the last, and I think our 2023 season will continue to grow and hold true to that. I am excited to see what’s to come and look forward to watching the many students and competitors achieve their goals on the Josey Ranch this year.”