January 3
January 10
January 17
January 31
For Feature Photos

UBRA Horse of the Year

Powerful, muscular Ty thrives in barrel racing while trained by Jodi Lee of rural Annandale

By Ed DuBois

Tiger One, a powerful horse known as "Ty" in the riding arenas, was named the 2015 United Barrel Racing Association (UBRA) Horse of the Year in the Minnesota.  His owner and trainer, Jodi Lee of rural Annandale, who has been around horses her whole life, said Ty is super fast, and because he is a great athlete, he can make a mistake and still win.

On the UBRA website, Jodi says Ty "has rocked the barrel racing industry."

"We have owned Ty for 10 years," Jodi continued.  "Prior to the Lee family owning Ty, he was kicked out of two arenas for uncontrollable behavior.  It took me several years to get Ty to behave and work a pattern correctly.  However, time, patience and persistence have paid off more than expected.  He is a horse that can make mistakes and still clock.  Ty is an amazing animal that has allowed me to push myself to entering races and to travel to places and events that I would have never thought possible!  However, one of Ty's best attributes for the last few years is that our seven-year-old daughter rides him all over the place at home and has competed on him!"



Jodi was asked to describe some of her training goals with Ty, an impressively muscular quarter horse.  She began by telling about "getting him on his hind end," which gives him power in turns and allows him to "get in and around quickly."  She taught him to "break at the pole," which means he "collects up" and brings his head down so he can "get his spring loaded" for explosiveness.  She also worked on "bending and flexing," which helps produce more power and speed by "arcing sideways" and "counter arcing."

Jodi said she could go on and on about the intricacies of barrel racing horse training, but she had a lesson coming up at the Arrowhead Arena north of Maple Lake, and it was time to take some photos for this story.


Grew up riding horses

"My mom and dad (Ted and Sandy Woyke) always had plenty of horses to ride," she commented.  "I grew up riding horses and even took a horse to college."

She graduated from Annandale High School and spent her college years at Augsburg College and then Mankato State University.  Before raising children, she worked as a school counselor six years in the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District and was a probation officer five years in Houston County (far southeastern corner of Minnesota).


Stay home with the kids

She returned to her passion for horses so she could "stay home with the kids."

Jodi and her husband, JP, have been married 16 years and have two children, Jaiden, 7, and Jacie, 5.

Jodi's horse training and riding lessons business is run out of their home, and Jodi also works evenings at the Buffalo Bar and Grill.

On weekends, she likes to compete in barrel racing events.  She has competed at the rodeos in Buffalo and Clearwater, and she mentioned she entered her first pro rodeo event when she was only about eight years old.

"Now, I go to the events with the highest money payouts," Jodi said.  "I go to barrel races every other weekend from May to October."

She could soon compete in a winter rodeo at Verndale, Minn. Feb. 5-6.  (Located near Wadena in North-Central Minnesota.)

She has traveled as far as Montana, Ohio and Oklahoma to compete in barrel racing events.


Wants to win $100,000

The money she can win varies from about $1,000 to $5,000 per weekend, but she has her sights set on a big prize at the National Barrel Racing Tour Finals in Oklahoma, where the winner takes home $100,000.  Riding Ty, she feels she has a shot at first place.

Before Jodi bought Ty, he was in quarter horse racing, and she said he won at Canterbury Park in Shakopee.

Quarter horses are considered sprinters in the horseracing world.  Ty's speed, athleticism and competitiveness have made him an excellent barrel racing horse.

He became the Horse of the Year through a nomination process, Jodi said.  UBRA members vote on the annual honor.



Some of Ty's accomplishments include: 2012 NBHA Reserve 1D Champion, 2012 Western Wishes Fastest Time Champion, 2013 UBRA World Champion, 2014 UBRA Reserve World Champion, 2013 Strait to the Finish Open 1D Reserve Champion, 2014 Triple Crown Slot Race Champion, 2014 Reserve Pro Elite 1D Cash Race winner, 2014 Reserve 1D CWT Slot Race, 2014 All American Qualifier (11th place took top 10 to Run for $1 million), 2015 1D CWT Slot Race Champion, 2015 1D Reserve Slot Race SC Productions in Winona, 2015 Bulls and Barrels Champion in St. Paul, and 2015 Pro Elite Off the Track Champion.

"Over the years, Ty has won 2 saddles, 12 buckles, magnetic blankets and wraps, halters, and a ton of other prizes," Jodi said.


Great support system

"Ty and I have an unbelievable support system behind us to help us accomplish our goals," she said on the UBRA website.

She is grateful to her family, friends and sponsors for their help making Ty's success possible.


Looking ahead

Jodi continues to train Ty and work on his power and speed.

"I want that $100,000," she said.

She then mentioned a huge American Rodeo in Texas that could offer a $1 million prize.

The way Ty has been running, he might qualify to go after that huge prize, too.


The Drummer aims to feature interesting stories each week. Stories about unique
people or happenings within our circulation borders in Drummerland.
Many of those story ideas come from our readers and we always welcome
phone calls, mail, e-mail or faxes with suggestions for Drummer feature stories.
Call us at 763-682-1221; mail to P.O. Box 159, Buffalo, MN 55313; Fax 763-682-5458;
or e-mail us at business@thedrummer.com
Don't forget to also catch us on our website, www.thedrummer.com
Thanks for your help.