Josey Butler

Where are you from? I am originally from Southwest Missouri but I have lived in Oklahoma and Texas for the last 5 years working for various trainers and owners. My husband and I own a place in East Texas now

When did you start barrel racing? As soon as I could sit up and hang on. I was one of those kids whom nobody bought toys for because she wasn’t going to play with them she is to busy on a horse.

Are you involved in any other equine events? My husband Team Ropes and Ropes Calves so I rope with him quite a bit and occasionally in local jackpots. I breakawayed in college and still do if I feel like a horse needs it.

Who or What got you started barrel racing? My mother she is still going strong and has a super nice horse. She always kept me on something that I had to ride. I guess you could say she made me a trainer too LOL since I always had to train my own.

On the road things sometimes happen. Do you have an unusual or funny story? I am blessed to have a super group of friends I haul with we find the humor in just about everything to entertain ourselves as we pass the time, some of it shouldn’t be repeated LOL.

The story that sticks out most in my mind is a scary one and the reason I carry a gun while traveling. Last year coming home from Gillette WY’s Fizz Bomb Futurity at night we got behind a bull hauler who was obviously out of it. Jolene and Ashley and I were in the huge Jud Little Rig with the 9 Horse and the Semi. We knew our exit was coming up so we slowed down and got as far back from him as we could. Just before the exit he pulls his truck over on to the side of the higway and we think he has probably realized he’s falling asleep at the wheel so we get over in the passing lane and plan to pass him. About the time we get to him he wheels his truck across the road infront of us and is hanging out the window shaking his fist at us Jo had to hit the ditch to miss him. We pulled over to the truck stop and called 911. It was pretty scary no telling what he was on. Thats another reason I will never have my name on my rig to many unpredictable people in this world.

What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it. Anyone who’s known my for 5 seconds knows Jag (King Scoots). He’s the one horse everyone is entitled too, that will never be sold for any amount of money. I ran him in college made the short go in both the barrels and the breakaway at one rodeo. Both my husband and I heel on him, he won the fast time at a USTRC roping in the 15 at Waco on him, he ropes calves on him and he’s a 1D barrel horse. He’s one of those golden horses that loves his job. 3 yrs ago they told me he was done due to a chip in his knee. Oakridge did the surgery and said he’ll be ok for a while. He’s won me about 3000 dollars this year with very limited hauling all 1D money.

What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)? Aside from all Jags great runs the 1 that really stands out is the Juvinille Futurity at the BFA World Championships last year. In the first go the mare I ride Nonstop Bug (Reba) had a cold so on the advice of a vet I ran her on Lasix. I had worked her the day before on it and she seemed OK we were going too fast when we hit that ramp and ran past all 3 barrels and were a second off. I was really disappointed because this mare already held an arena record. She came back in on the second round and was 4th in the go round out of 300+ great colts and if you have ever seen her in person she is 14.0 hands tall.

Over the years have you noticed any changes in barrel racing what are the good or bad you’ve seen? The D system has been amazing for our sport and it’s really created a market for those golden horses who aren’t fast enough but are still good at what they do. The sponsors and prize money gets bigger every year it’s exciting to think where our sport will be at in the next 5 years.

What is do you think of an equal pay out 4d? I see both sides of the arguement however, from a competitors stand point I don’t care for them. I am still old school in that it’s a horse race and the 1D should win more than the 2D and down the line. I have horses that are 3D horses in my barn and I still feel that way. The arguement over paying the same fee’s and hauling falls short with me because if it weren’t for the D system alot of people wouldn’t win a dime. I rarely take my good horses to an equal payout unless it’s a large guarentee’d payout like the Pac West or the Elite Races.

Do you think of yourself as a professional barrel racer? I would say yes, though I by no means count myself in the league of the big time trainers. I am blessed to do ok at training and have great owners who like the way I ride their horses.

Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? Obviously my mother, she loves it so much and it’s fun to see her do well. I consider Kay Young, Jolene Stewart, and Latricia Duke the people I admire most being blessed enough to have them on speed dial they are my go to girls when I have a problem. A person I will set on the fence to watch is Brittany Pozzi I don’t know her at all but the girl is a fierce competitor and can make about anything she throws a leg over a winner.

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out in barrel racing? If you love it and you wan’t it bad enough you should never quit trying, go buy the most solid horse you can afford and find someone you can trust to guide you. And don’t ever forget it’s supposed to be fun.

Do you think barrel racing should be limited to women only? Absolutely not.. We would miss out on watching so many great runs if the guys were banned.