Champion Barrel Racer and Champion Calf Roper
Martha and R.E. Josey are legends in the sport of rodeo. Both have been inducted to the cowboy hall of fame by multiple organizations, including the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, the Arklatex Sports Museum in Shreveport, Louisiana, with Martha also an inductee of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth. Many times Martha and R.E. Josey have been credited with establishing the standards that make barrel racing what it is today.
Martha's career as a barrel racer began in 1964 and stretches over five decades of championships, hall of fame inductions, and endorsements. Martha has competed in the National Finals Rodeo 11 times in her career. She has also been Women's the Pro Rodeo Association world champion, American Quarter Horse Association world champion, and National Barrel Horse Association world champion. Martha has even been featured on the front of the Wheaties breakfast cereal box. In 1988, Martha represented the United States in the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, and won bronze and gold medals. Her list of accomplishments is lengthy.
In 1967, Martha and husband RE Josey (three time NFR world calf roping champion on three different horses) began teaching their own barrel racing and calf roping schools at The Josey Ranch, their home in Marshall, Texas. The schools and clinics are still running today, not only at the ranch, but also across the nation. Josey Clinics are the longest running barrel racing and calf roping clinics in the nation, with approximately 200,000 alumni. Some of those students, such as 2015 NFR Champion Fallon Taylor, and former NFR Champion Mary Walker, have gone on to win their own world championship titles.
The Josey Ranch is also home to two barrel racing competitions known around the world. The first two weekends in May literally thousands of barrel racers come from as far away as Australia, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe to compete in The Josey Jr. World Championship, open to competitors age 20 and younger. The Josey Reunion Barrel Race, is open to anyone who has attended a Josey Clinic. The attendance is in the thousands for each event, with payouts between the two reaching near $300,000 in cash and prizes.