A Look into Margaret Jones’ training program and success at the Pink Buckle
For Margaret Jones, training high quality barrel horses has been her passion since high school. This Wyoming cowgirl, originally from a ranch outside of Lysite, now resides near Farson, Wyoming with her husband Roger and their two children Sydney and Cooper.
“I grew up riding horses, did the junior rodeo, high school rodeo, college rodeo, and just kind of progressed,” she explained. “I’ve just always loved riding and training and trying to get better all the time. It’s a non-stop process for your whole life.”
For the Jones family, horses are an essential part of their lifestyle.
“It’s kind of a family thing. We ride together and they all rope, which is good for our horses. It gives them something else to do.”
Within their program, Margaret and Roger predominantly breed and raise their own prospects and have about 2-3 foals a year. They usually send them off to get started for two months late into their two-year-old year, and then take them on from there.
For Margaret, good genetics are essential to her program, and a key part of what she looks at when selecting a stallion to breed too.
“I love anything Dash Ta Fame or Frenchmans Guy,” she explained, “It feels like you just can’t go wrong. The sons of Frenchmans Guy are also such great producers too.”
This year, Margaret had three derby aged horses. Her daughter Sydney is currently competing off one of them at college rodeos in the Central Rocky Mountain Region. Margaret’s other two horses made the trip to Guthrie, Oklahoma with her for the Pink Buckle Race in October.
The 2023 Pink Buckle treated Margaret extremely well, where she left with over $44,600 off of two full siblings, Smooth Opperraider and Smooth Money Raider. Both derby horses are by a Smooth Guy, and out of an On the Money Red mare. Smooth Opperraider is an eight-year-old gelding, and Smooth Money Raider is a six-year-old mare.
Smooth Money Raider was 4th in the first round of the derby and the open, while also placing 3rd in the owner rider sidepot. She also ended up 7th in the derby average and 10th in the open average. This earned her $34,559 in total.
Smooth Opperraider won the 2D average in the derby as well, which paid $15,000.
Reflecting on the Pink Buckle, Margaret had a special shout out to the ground crew.
“I really want to thank the Pink Buckle for how great their ground was this year.” She stressed. “I felt like you could win in the morning or the afternoon, on the bottom of the ground, or before a big drag. We all appreciate it so much!”
With so many new incentives and races popping up rapidly everywhere from coast to coast, Margaret reflected on just how much growth this industry has seen over the past several years.
“Futurities have changed so much, even from when I bred these horses.” she said.
“These events are so nice. For a $500 entry, you have a chance to run for an insane amount of money. It’s amazing! I’ve definitely got that in mind when I’m raising one.” she explained.
Some of Margaret’s favorite incentives include the Pink Buckle, Royal Crown, or the Riata Buckle.
Of course, with this being the gift guide issue, we had to ask Margaret what was on her Christmas wish list…. “You can’t go wrong with a new saddle pad or a new bit.” She said. “I’d really like a new Merrill, I heard he’s changed the design a little bit and I’m interested in trying it.”
Looking into the future, Margaret plans on continuing with the futurities.
“I like to do the futurities and derbies and I like to train. I’m not really cut out for the road for rodeoing.” She laughed. “I don’t love the thought of driving that much.”
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