At every level of rodeo competition, barrel racer Janae Ward has risen to the top. And that was all done in six years.
With three generations of barrel racing expertise backing her every step of the way, Janae's promising future is bright indeed.
It all started at the Youree Ranch almost 70 years ago when Dale Youree, Janae's grandfather, began training barrel horses. Janae's grandmother, Florence Youree, a member of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, recipient of WPRA’s Heritage Award and Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, was the first of the racing family to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo back when the event was held in Oklahoma City. In 1985, Janae's mother, Renee Youree Ward qualified for the Finals it's first year in Las Vegas. As the first ever, third generation National Finals qualifier (2001), Janae has made three straight trips to Vegas and after winning over $100,000 at the 10-day event, she claimed the NFR average title and the 2003 World Championship.
In the first three years of the USSTC Texas Stampede in Dallas, Texas, Janae had been the big money winner and each time her winnings propelled her to the National Finals. According to the ESPN website, Janae "used a little more of her black magic" in 2003 to bring her from 26th on the money list, to 14th following the Stampede.
While competing at the 2003 National Finals, Janae pulled several all-nighters not normally associated with Las Vegas. Not only was Janae racking up the earnings in each night's performance, she placed in eight of ten rounds, but the dedicated student and caretaker took two final exams for her college professors back in Stillwater, and she stayed up all night on four separate occasions taking care of Dee Dee, Jud Little's mare she was riding at the Finals.
As you can see, Janae is a proven winner at all levels, she has a great future in and out of the rodeo arena.
Janae, a marketing major at Oklahoma State University, graduated in 2004 and plans to continue her professional rodeo career, along with helping her family out at the Youree Ranch.
Janae now resides in Addington, OK with her husband Ty Massey and daughter Chazli Massey. She is a Teacher for Epic Charter School and trains outside horses on the side. Her daughter Chazli is following right in her footsteps. She has already won numerous youth titles and is only 11 years old. Chazli is also an avid softball and basketball player.