New Boston TX Chamber of Commerce

Rodeo Royalty

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Rodeo Royalty is coming to our 2023 Pioneer Days Parade on Saturday, August 19, 2023. Marilyn Cox Jones received the very First "Miss Four States Fair and Rodeo" Award and will be our Grand Marshall for our Annual Parade.

Marilyn was born in 1939 and has been a cowgirl, rancher and rodeoed since she was a little girl. While growing up, she always made sure to keep riding and practicing for any rodeo she could get into. Her love for horses never waned. By the time Marilyn was 11, her family moved to the Texarkana area. She used to just hang out at Spring Lake Park, just to be with horses. She'd clean stalls, feed them and eventually get to ride them. During this time, she got the opportunity to join the Texarkana Quadrille (Precision Horsemanship). One of her first ventures in a Quadrille found her and her family in Fort Worth Texas (1954). The rodeo officials didn't want to let her in the Grand Entry. They convinced them to allow it since she was competing in the Quadrille. Not only was she in the Grand Entry, the Texarkana Quadrille won the event!! 

Marilyn Cox First Miss Four States Fair and Rodeo

It was only a matter of time before Barrel Racing came to Texarkana and Marilyn jumped at the chance to compete. She started with her horse Skylight, but soon realized her older brother Jerry's horse was even better. She and "Headlight" became unstoppable. She even competed in the New Boston Fair and Rodeo in 1955. She rode in the Quadrille and won the Barrel Race!

In 1956, Texarkana hosted an annual rodeo and fair at the Four States Fair Grounds. The officials decided to add a Miss Four States Fair and Rodeo contest to the annual event. The petite brown haired Marilyn Cox became the first "Miss Four States Fair and Rodeo" at the young age of only 17! The rest is history!!

She travelled as far away as Chicago to compete and run Barrel Races. Marilyn has her heart and soul in horses and rodeos. She has helped form various rodeo clubs and organizations over the years to help keep the rodeo spirit alive. 

In 1969, Marilyn and her family moved to the Woodstock community, about 6 miles north of New Boston. In the late 60's, she was name International Rodeo Association Woman of the Year. in 1970 she received their Sportsman award as well. She acquired the nickname " Cattle Kate" during this time. Marilyn won the 1972 and 1976 Arkansas Barrel Racing Association Championships.

Marilyn Cox Jones
Marilyn Cox Jones
Marilyn Cox Jones

Marilyn has spent the last decade supporting and promoting rodeos, barrel racing and the rural life. She's served on many boards and agencies during this time - always helping to promote rodeos, horses and agriculture.

In the past, she volunteered a lot of her time to the Running WJ Ranch in Texarkana. Imagine having someone like Marilyn walking beside you as a therapeutic guide for a special education child! Over the years, Marilyn has hosted many kids and events at her Woodstock arena.

Reba McEntire Letter

Please be sure to welcome this fantastic legend of a lady to our 2023 Annual Pioneer Days Parade!

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