Rance and Josey Butler
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Josey Butler, husband, Rance, and three year old daughter, Harper are making a name for themselves in the rodeo world. “She goes a lot with me,” said Josey about Harper. “She’s a trooper. My husband rodeos, so from the moment I started riding, she was going. She falls asleep to the sound of a diesel truck so it’s pretty easy.” Josey was born and raised in southwest Missouri. She grew up on the back of a horse thanks to her mom, Patty Batchelor.
Born and raised in southwest Missouri, Josey rode anything from a pony to her mom’s barrel horses. She also rode various horses for individuals including one who went on the be the 2006 Buckskin World Junior Barrel Racing Champion. Josey competed in junior rodeo and jackpots. She went on to college rodeo at Northeastern Oklahoma. A & M and went back to Ft. Scott Community College for another year. She took Ag communications and she uses it for her graphic design and illustrations. Josey also does abstract horse watercolor art. “I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil. I was that little kid that was out in the country and if I wasn’t riding a horse I was drawing it. My grandparents had cattle, and we lived on their property. My mom runs barrels and still does. She’s 65 going on 25.”
In 2006 she went to work for an AQHA facility in Sperry Oklahoma. Here she was exposed to the methods of both the Cow Horse Industry and the English world. Taking something from everyone she’s worked with Josey continues to use these foundations in her program today.
Josey met her husband while working in Oklahoma. He was roping with her boss and they met at Judd Little’s sale and they ended up on a date. “After that we were inseparable,” she said. “We feed off each other very well – he starts a lot of horses and does it the way I like it done.” The couple has been married for ten years. Rance is a firefighter/paramedic for the city of Longview Texas . His schedule of one 24 hour duty and off duty 48 hours makes it great for starting colts. “It gives them one day to defragment and then gets on for two days in a row. I’m very fortunate; my husband is a great father. He’ll ride his colts in the morning, and I’ll stay with Harper. From the day she was born, we can go back and forth getting our stuff done.”
The couple has six outside horses; Rance takes four two year olds at a time, keeping them for 60 days. “He does everything slow and easy. He follows how the old cow horse was started – real simple and basic.”
They were able to start and ride Frosted Fling, bred and raised by Paris Wixon. “We rode his mom (Sun Frosted Moon) and maternal grandmother Zan to the Moon, so we knew how talented he should be, but we knew pretty quick we had something awesome. He belongs to Paris and we get to train him and ride him. She won the AQHA on his grand sire Zan Par Deck.” The owner and the jockey split everything after the entry fees are paid back. “He’s already qualified for the World Show in November.”
Josey took Frosted Fling to the Semi Finals of the AMERICAN. “He’s only five, and he ran a little bit green in the Semi Finals, but we will try again this year. I’ve been pretty fortunate to ride him at some rodeos and will go on and derby him these next couple of months.” She was impressed with the AMERCAN and the Semi Finals. “Running at the Semi Finals was the biggest stage I’ve been on – I was proud of my colt, it was so professionally run. Same with the Patriiot – they are trying to do something for those of us that can’t travel up and down the road all the time.”
Josey plans to fill her permit with one of the three horses she can run and after she does that she will set her next goal. The March born 37 year old has dreams to raise a happy, healthy little girl. “Everything else is a bonus.”