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5 Star Featured Athlete: Josie Conner
Written by: Ruth Nicolaus< Back to Articles
One of the best parts of life for Josie Conner is spending time with her mom and dad, Jade and Wendi Conner.
The eighteen-year-old cowgirl, a breakaway roper, is homeschooled so she can travel to rodeos and jackpots.
She uses 5 Star Equine products and loves them. She loves the saddle pads, how they fit, and how the pressure is distributed evenly across her horses’ backs. When she takes them off, there are no dry spots, which tells her they fit evenly. “The hairs are never wrinkled when I take the pad off, which means the saddle hasn’t rolled; it’s stayed in one place.”
She also uses 5 Star’s Patriot Sports support boot in part because they have the perfect amount of thickness. “They give great support while also being lightweight,” Josie said. “They are customizable to the horse’s legs, and I can get them as tight or as loose as I want. They last longer than any other boot I’ve used.”
The third 5 Star product Josie uses is the 5 Star mohair roper cinches. “I love them because they are 100 percent mohair, soft and comfortable for the horses,” she said. “What I really like is they don’t have any leather where I would strap my tie-down strap. The girts with leather where the tie-down strap pulls on them tend to roll up and pinch the horse. These don’t pinch or irritate in any way.”
A homeschool student, she will graduate this May. Homeschooling works well for her. “I’m really on top of my schooling. I try to get as much done as I can at home so when I’m on the road I don’t have to worry about it, and it’s done. School is my first priority.”
Last year was one of her best years in rodeo. She won the Jr NFR, the Jr Patriot, and the World Championship Junior Rodeo in Guthrie. This year, she’s secured her spot in The American with an exemption in the sixteen-man round.
The horses carrying her to the winner’s circle are a sorrel blaze face named Tonka, and a sorrel chestnut named Bingo. Tonka was purchased by the Conners in 2019.
He’s very good at his job, Josie said. “He leaves the corner and reads my hand well in the breakaway. He lets me float; if I go early, I can pull without him stopping.” Tonka has good timing and a lot of try as well. “He gives me his heart every time.”
Her backup horse is Bingo, who was purchased by the family last year. Bingo likes to run, and if it’s a slow calf may not read the calf as well. “On faster calves, I like to run Bingo,” she said. Both horses are equally talented. “When I don’t want to put the runs on Tonka, I ride Bingo.”
This fall, Josie will attend McNeese State University, working towards a business or marketing degree. She hasn’t decided if she will rodeo collegiately yet. “There are so many options: pro rodeos, amateurs, ropings and collegiate. I’ll look at my schedule and see what fits in best.”
Her parents travel with her, and that’s the best part of life. “We do everything together. It’s really cool.”
The family lives near Iowa, Louisiana.