Barrel racing is one of the rare sports developed initially for women. It is a “rodeo event in which a horse and the rider attempts to make a run as fast as possible and complete the given pattern” (Hubbard 1999). Any device that has a timer will be the judge for this kind of sport as it aims to record the level of speed. The timer “begins when the rider cross the start line and ends when the rider successfully executed the barrel pattern or when they cross the finish line”.
Apparently, this kind of sport needs a great deal of strength, athletic ability, intelligence and drive; and therefore needs a lot of training. Barrel racing and horsemanship to be executed by women is somehow amazing. Some suggest that this kind of sport must only be played by men. It is said that the arena is more unhealthy and dangerous to women since they are apparently weaker than men physiologically. Martha Josey though is one of the few women who took the courage to try this kind of sport despite its high level of physical risks.
Martha Josey is a world champion barrel racer and thus an inspiration to everyone in the sport of rodeo. She is now considered a “Cowgirl Hall of Famer after qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo on eight different horses in four consecutive decades from 1968 to 1998” (Hubbard 1999). Horses played a great contribution on Josey’s success. Some of her most famous horses that brought her to national finals and championship are “Cebe Reed, Sonny Bit O’Both and Orange Smash” (Diccus 2006). The horse “Cebe qualified Martha for her first National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in 1968 and 1969” (Diccus 2006).
In later years when Martha teamed up with “the big bay gelding, Sonny Bit O’ Both, she was again qualified to the NFR four years in a row from 1978 to 1981” (Diccus 2006). Furthermore Sonny set an all time record in 1980 “as he was the only horse in history to win the AQHA and WPRA World Championship” (Diccus 2006). But due to Sonny’s oldness later on, Martha introduced Orange Smash who gave her “the NBHA Senior Championship and Reserved Open 1- D Championship in Augusta, Georgia” (Diccus 2006).
Moreover, Orange Smash made Josey “qualified for the NFR in 1998 and received the Gold- Round Winner Buckle” (Diccus 2006). Due to the consistent win of Martha Josey, Orange Smash received the “1999 AQHA Best of America’s Horse Award”. What is unique about Martha Josey is her calmness in arena every time. Her exterior disguises with “her impeccable manicure, makeup and outfit”, Martha looks to be attending a simple luncheon instead of a dusty and dangerous arena (Hubbard 1999).
Her external manifestations, her better looking horses and her calmness made her stood out in crowd for past decades. Her reputation as a horse racer is radiating every time she wins. Meanwhile, throughout her career, Martha Josey also helped others to build their careers who are interested in barrel racing. Josey also “has helped build barrel racing’s recognition as a professional rodeo event, and in part through her efforts, barrel racing is held in the same arena and with the same respect and spectator interest as any of the other rodeo events” (Broyles 2006, p.
13). At this point of time, Martha Josey continues to compete for World Championship and is often featured in “Equine magazine” (Broyles 2006, p. 12). In addition, she manage to produce educational videos and documentaries about rodeo, markets her own line of equine products, establishes various clinics throughout America and helps promote Purina products. Right now, “she and her husband also train and market the very best in barrel horses at their home ranch in Marshall, Texas.
The ranch is also home to world-class competitions” (Broyles 2006, p. 12). Martha Josey is one of the successful women in history who prove that women can be equal than men in whatever areas. The criticisms she received just because she is a woman did not affected her at all. In fact, she approach those criticisms constructively. Moreover, she emphasizes the fact that in sport in order to be successful, one should undergo a lot of training and one should intelligently approach every challenges.
She is now currently living in Texas constantly fulfilling her passion in rodeo sport through helping others to be a winner too just like her. Reference: Broyles, J. (2006). “Barrel Racing”. New York USA. The Rosen Publishing Group. Diccus, T. (2006). “Martha Josey- The Legend by Ron Atwood”. Tamara Hillman on line. Retrieved on June 4, 2009 from http://www. rodeocountry. org/tamarahillmanbuckinbroncos. htm Hubbard, C. (1999). “Smash Success Martha Josey eyes her fifth decade at the National Finals”. Active Interest Media, Inc. from the book of American Cowboy.
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