When Jennifer Woodmansee arrived in Fort Worth, Texas, for the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions, she wasn’t expecting to leave with a World title. She had only been riding cow horses for about a year and had owned her mount, Chicody Leo, for the same amount of time. When she was crowned the $1,000 Non-Pro Limited World Champion, Woodmansee was in shock.
“[It took] a lot of hours of riding with my awesome trainer, Jill Cook,” Woodmansee said. “She’s worked endlessly with me. This is our first year in cow horse. She’s shown me the ropes, and apparently it’s paid off.”
Woodmansee and “Cody” first marked a 211 in the rein work during their winning run. The duo had competed already once that week in the Non-Pro Limited finals, where they placed eighth, and Woodmansee was concerned about performing the same pattern.
“I was a little bit nervous about the pattern, but we just decided we were going to have fun and I was going to enjoy my horse, and I feel like it came together pretty well,” she said.
In the boxing, the duo marked a 213.5. It was the second-highest score, but their composite 424.5 earned the World title and a $1,620 check.
“We had a good cow, which we were happy about because we had a little tough luck with cows earlier in the week,” she said. “It showed my horse off well and I felt like we could hold it well, so I was confident in working the cow.”
Cody, who is 14 years old, is by Smart Chic Olena and out of Miss Topsail Okie (by Topsail Cody). He was bred by Tom and Sherry Dean, of Alpharetta, Georgia.
“He’s the best little guy. He’s showing me how to get along in cow horse and he’s my best bud. He really likes red licorice,” Woodmansee said. “He’s been doing this most of his life, so he’s experienced and I’ll try to ride him for a couple more years and then probably look for a little younger prospect.”
Woodmansee’s eventual goal is to go down the fence, but for now, she’ll probably spend another year in the boxing. The Eaton, Colorado, native barrel raced for years before getting into versatility ranch riding and falling in love with the cow work.
“This is kind of a lifelong dream; just finally at that point in my life where we could afford it and make it a priority, so we decided to go into it.
“Thanks to my family for their support,” she added. “They’ve been amazing. And my trainer, Jill Cook, and just all the other $1,000 [riders]. It’s so awesome to be in this class. Everybody’s excited and having fun, so they’re all supportive of each other, and it’s been really great.”