Purina® Stories of Greatness: Martha Josey, Full-Length Feature

by: PurinaMillsTV

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[Music] when you're talking to Martha Josie you're talking about a living legend she impacted barrel-racing is nobody else has they'll never be another Bertha Josie here we go so nas rough football 74 it takes a legend to make the National Finals Rodeo for four decades not only did she win World Championships she took that knowledge they passed on to other people hundreds of thousands of lives have been touched how many girls are gonna remember Martha Josie and what she's helped them do in their career

Martha definitely had to overcome a lot of odds in her life medical doctors telling her you may never walk again I think that versity brings out the best in a person you can do anything you want to if you want it bad enough

she is a Cinderella story horses are the greatest thing that can happen to people [Music] even as a little girl that's all I wanted to do was ride right right you say Martha Josie you're talking about a rider you are talking about bowel racing and she trains probably some of the greatest barrel horses in the world one of the most special times in Martha's life was the 1980 NFR you know she's actually competing against people that she helped train get ready with Linda Mackenzie now tell you what look at this horse for Linda Mackenzie and I are Nick and tough she's a student so I'm really proud of her but I want to beat her every young girl's dream I think is to make the NFR at the end of the ten rounds whoever's got the most money one is your world champion it was down to the tenth runner and that's when it's pretty exciting I think I want this run and I want it bad it is the toughest we drive thousands and thousands of miles for 16 seconds you're in the road 24 hours a day you stop you fuel up you have blowouts you have trailer malfunctions and that force malfunction 16 seconds into it and it's over [Music] when I was born my dad was in the Cordova's business and brought the very first quarter horse in the East Texas my memories of daddy and I would ride down into the meadows in the cornfields he loved horses and he'd really instilled it in me you know he wanted me to be a cowgirl [Music] my dad he passed away when I was only 10 years old [Music] it was very hard because being a daddy's girl it really took a toll on me and my mother actually had to sell all the horses and we had no way to take care of but she kept one staying thinking that someday maybe I could get to ride again and then one day I went to a rodeo in Shreveport Louisiana I thought I don't belong up in the stands I belong down there with the horses the next day I hunted up my daddy's old roping saddle my horse had not been out of the stall for eight years put that saddle on and found an old rusty barrel and I started barrel racing and my dream was to be that champion that my daddy wanted me to be I said I'm gonna do this I'm gonna be a cowgirl barrel racing was just really getting started cowgirls were wanting to do something and they knew that it was going to be hard riding bulls and Bronx but I did some of that too [Music] I think back then the girls just went and had a good time and said well we're gonna do something too so they invented the sport three barrels and the fastest horse wins my mother had an old Buick that had 300,000 miles on it I really the trailer for $5.00 every time I go anyplace I just had that drive and the barrel racing just really came kind of natural

at that time my mother and I was living in my grandmother's house it burnt everything we have is in that home that was a hard time in my life for a senior in high school that was very traumatic to lose your home and everything you had anytime you have the low you need to go to the high I thought I've still got my horse I'll still ride and I made up my mind I can do everything I want to do in spite of the difficulties that had occurred and I shouldn't use them such a word just difficulty when I'm speaking of losing your house and losing your father such a benign word no in spite of the disasters which had occurred in her life she could have quit that's not in her [Music]

one day a gentleman called me he said I know you can ride your daddy was the best horsemen in the world and I've got a horse named seed be read and I think you need to come and get him then I said what do you want for this horse he said five thousand I said I'll give you 2,500 he said okay and I almost fainted because I didn't have $25 less loan 2,500 I went home to my mother and I was crying and I said mama I just bought CD read for 2,500 she said baby I leased my land for all today for 2,500 you can have that for your horse I knew that that was all the money that my mother had I said mother you need the money and she said no I want you to have that horse that's how I got CB read the CB was just a different horse he wasn't really trained very good and at first we'd go around the first barrel Catherina he'd go the first few rodeos I went to everybody's sitting boy I don't know why he bought that horse then I started working with him and he started getting better and better and better he wouldn't run as fast as he could to a barrel slide on his rear end and turn so quick but he never hit first the first wind was at a quarter horse show I want it by over two seconds my next show I went to was the American royal Kansas City everybody came running up 2 mins you just broke the record at the American royal well then I knew that I had a good horse [Music]

you know I've always said what makes a great barrel racer is a good horse and she really capitalizes on that you don't have four legs underneath you that can compete you can't win a lot of Cowboys didn't really think much about the barrel racing back then but when Seavey would run they'd all come to the arena to watch him because he had such an outstanding style [Applause] what made that horse special is when all the chips are on the table you could count on [Applause] he was impressive didn't make many mistakes and he and Martha they were a team

I had won the Texas barrel racing Association 1964-65 66 and 67 my first NFR was in 1968 I won fifty two barrel races in a row I went seven horse trailers that horse and I were such a connection and the way that we got the horse and the way that it all happened it all just fell in place [Applause] [Music] John baby had a vision a dream that could not fail one day I went to a roping and barrel racing there was a calf roper there and it was re Josie well he won the roping at Hillsboro of course I'd won all the barrel racing he said doc do you want to go on a date tonight I really think that he was after my horse he'd find a good jockey but a good horse hard to come by it was kind of love at first sight you not only got me you got my horse - oh that's what I'm after

we ended up getting married down here in Karnak Texas I said well you're winning I'm winning let's go have a rodeo school he said a rodeo school we kind of laughed about it which I tried that was in 1967 and we had 33 students four different girls ended up going to the national finals from that first clinic that we had so that was really an honor we started with a week-long school and it progressed to where we had so many people wanting to come and be taught by my friend Josie we had to go to two weeks schools that progressed even further we just couldn't continue turning people down now you got to understand at that time loss and Josie were going up and down the road they were trying to qualify for the NFR every year if you didn't make them that far then it would be really disappointing she did not like to lose çb he started to kind of slowing down a little bit but after I'd the Cadillac like CV it was hard to get on other horses he could beat him back in they beat him today people around he was just something special [Music] he was 25 when he passed away here at the Josie ranch sang by two the greatest horse in the world it was very hard it's like losing your best friend but you know they're in heaven taking another barrel racer around so you look for that next horse [Music] and when sunny came along it was unbelievable sunny bit of both he was one of the first horses that I got to see Martha run and he was a great horse and he had a lot of heart to me he didn't look like he was really going that fast but he was so smooth that he could stop the clock now Martha Joseph carnac Texas she's gonna do it again tonight dig around that up I tell you look apart she makes merry stakes in her career that's why she is one of our great world I was blessed to have the opportunity to have sunny after CV they were totally different but they were both winners policies we made the National Finals Rodeo in 78 79 and then in 1980 that was the year I said I'm going to go try to win the world can you say Martha Josie you're talking about a rider you are talking about vowel racing particularly I had gone to a lot of rodeos and a lot of quarter horse shows tell you what she's going into the second round real tight I ended up winning that American Quarter Horse Association there's championship the most prestigious awards that a quarter horse can hear and that's the world champion at that time I'm qualified for the inner bar I think well okay now I've won this one do I really need to try to win the other one of course

I get to the national finals Lin Mackenzie now our Nick and touch she's a student so I'm really proud of her but I want to beat her it was down to the tenth run and all I've got to do is not to hear the girl you know most people would have gone out there and he gave a lot of rooms and been cautious not Martha

first barrel Sonny slips I barely get him over for the second girl to hustling this horse through the pattern like her life depended on it and that's what makes her special she goes for it I'm thinking I want this run and I want it bad

I asked the policeman did I win he said they just called out Martha josie1 and then I threw up my hands and I hadn't actually wonderful congratulations it's been a long haul for you tell me how does it feel to be that world champion barrel race oh it feels right I've just got to thank the Lord and my husband and my mom all at one time today thank you [Music] special to be able but when the Derby PRA world as well as AQHA in the same year sunny was the only horse in history to ever win both that record still stands today my dad he was looking down on men and realizing that yes I was doing everything he wanted me to do and I was really fulfilling that dream that he had for me it was wonderful [Music] after I won in the world in 1980 I came home and I was writing a young horse something spooked him he threw me I woke up in the hospital in really really bad shape broke this right arm broke my pelvis in several places first thing the doctor said you definitely will never ride again and you will probably never walk again [Music] that was really devastating now I'm in a wheelchair medical doctors looking at her condition and telling her you know this is really bad but they didn't know who their patient was they didn't know it was Martha Josie

a lot of people would give up you never want to give up the first thing that I thought well I've got to keep sunny in shape because I'm going to be out of this wheelchair with Josie's positive attitude first thing he didn't tell me was you can do anything you want to if you want it bad enough she didn't let her defeat get her down you know she come right back he took me to the very best specialist you could find and we made a swimming area for sunny and I'd go down in my Wells chair or one side re on the other and we'd swimming she had some rehab people coming to the home and I made house calls she worked hard at that rehab and it was amazing in quite a short time she did [Music] in about three or four months I was able to get out of the wheelchair it was a miracle recovery and I knew the minute that I could get out of that wheelchair that I could ride again [Applause]

first time I got back on and sunny it just made all the pain go away [Music] Orion was already ready I think he was sitting in the truck ready to go right then saying I think you need to go back to the national finals one more time from Sutton I was thinking it's going to be hard get to the national finals because I had to catch up first rodeo we went to after my recovery we won

[Music] [Applause] we went to Walla Walla Washington we won that we went to ensberg Washington we won that we would be Allah and we won that won three big wins they caught up after missing three months but everybody else was rodeoing together sunny and I went back to the National Finals the fourth time in 1981 Here I am having such a bad accident back at the national finals that was another big accomplishment in my life [Music] I love the winning I love the road but now I love the teaching when we started our school in 1967 we had no idea that we would still be doing it 51 years later I felt like we're giving back to a sport that has given us so much okay when you get that first girl what do we say and then what wait good y'all will remember that today okay good the things you see in rodeo today with swimming and rodeo creating their own clothing lines and having this incredible fan base if you look back Martha started all of that every little kid that's had a dream has been to Martha Josie's clinic so many of our students have gone on to become world champions and when they win we win [Music] Martha Josie's not she taught me they've opened up their lives to who ever wants to learn [Music] the world champion what story my goal is I want to win the world and I just want to be like my son nicely I'll try the whole thing has been fun fun fun and I love the teaching re loves teaching you know we plan to do this for a long time long as we can nobody can imagine going to the NFR for four different decades she has that drive and I guarantee if she had the right horse today she'd be back out there on the road trying it one more time

what we really want to be remembered for is having something that will help people not only excel in their barrel racing or calf-roping but in life they're just the greatest people in the world there's nothing there's I don't think there's anything else you can say about it [Music]


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Join along as Martha Josey, pioneer woman in rodeo history and Purina Ambassador, shares her stories of greatness with us. From career-ending injuries, to world titles, to training the next generation of rodeo champions, watch how this living legend has overcome insurmountable obstacles and how she has given back to the sport that defines her.
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