In 1966, Martha and R.E. Josey were newlyweds with a passion – for good horses, championship rodeo and winning.
But it wasn't enough to be a winner. The Josey's were already winners – R.E. was a champion calf roper and his raven-haired bride — a petite powerhouse from Marshall, Texas — was a Texas barrel racing phenomenon, right out of the chute.
Photo courtesy Martha Josey
"From Day One, R.E. and I have shared the same dream – to have one of the best rodeo schools and clinics in the world," she says.
The Josey's winning ways drew notice. "R.E. was winning the ropings and I winning the barrel races, she says. In addition to winning just about every rodeo and horse show she entered, she won an incredible 52 barrel races in a row and 7 horse trailers on her great horse, Cebe Reed.
"People wanted to know what we did to win, so in 1967 we had our first school," R.E. said. Returning to native East Texas, the Josey's held their first school at Josey Ranch in Marshall. The Josey's shared their expertise with 33 students for two weeks, bedding down the students in the lofts of two converted barns.
"It wasn't too fancy, but everyone loved it," Martha laughs.
Demand grew quickly, and before long, the Josey's were spending their entire summers teaching. Two and a half and three-day clinics were added. The Josey's began one of the first barrel racing clinics ever. The very first for the Josey's was in the Northeast, in Connecticut, in 1966. Many who attended that clinic went on to become National Finals competitors.
Today, Team Josey — Gary Arthur and Lisa and Ty Mitchell — shares the Josey's expertise and winning ways in clinics nearly year-round, coast to coast. Team Josey and a team of instructors including R.E. and Martha Josey teach clinics at the 200-acre Josey Ranch in Marshall.
Registration has already begun for the Josey 2013 "Train with the Champions" coast-to-coast clinics and events. Josey Ranch will host seven barrel racing clinics, two one-week barrel racing schools and a one-week calf roping school at Marshall, Texas, while Team Josey will hold 12 barrel racing clinics in 12 different locations throughout the U.S.
In May, the annual Josey Reunion, for former Josey students, and Jr. World, for age 20 and under, are expected to draw hundreds of competitors offering thousands of dollars in prizes, money and scholarships.
In the past 45 years, more than 150,000 students have shared the Josey's dream and many students have fulfilled their dreams.
"I like to win in anything I do. I have always loved to win and I always teach to win."
And the key to winning, Martha says, is "determination, discipline and desire to be the best you can be."
Instilling those qualities not only makes a winner in the rodeo arena, she said, but in every walk of life.
"Many of our students have gone on to be champions," in barrel racing and calf roping, says R.E. "... so many that it's impossible to list. But all who have gone on are still winners in other walks of life. We have mounted many of our students on horses that have helped them reach their championships."
R.E. and Martha credits their hardworking staff and the support of her sponsors — Purina, Big Tex/CM Trailers, United Vet/MVP, Circle Y of Yoakum, Josey Pro Kold, LifeWave, Priefert Ranch Equipment, Supreme Western and the Made-Rite Company to the success of their clinics and events.
For more information on upcoming Josey Clinics and Events, visit www.barrelracers.com or call 903-935-5358.