MSEA News & Events

Alex Speak, 2024 Recipient of the MSEA Endowed Scholarship at MSU

Alex Speak, 2024 Recipient of the MSEA Endowed Scholarship at MSU

Pictured with Alex Speak, current senior at Miss State Univ. (from Arkansas), is James Watts, executive director of MSEA, James Rasberry, MSEA president, and Dr. Michael Newman, a Veterinary School professor and representing the prestigious MSU Vet School.


Another Contribution to the MSU Therapeutic Riding Program submitted by MSEA for the 2024 season

Another Contribution to the MSU Therapeutic Riding Program submitted by MSEA for the 2024 season

Representing MSEA and Miss State, are Will Staggers, Lori Irvin, James Watts, executive director of MSEA, James Rasberry, MSEA president, Narsis Whigham, Dr. Michael Newman, and Lacey Gordon.


Alex Speak, 2023 MSEA Endowed Scholarship Recipient

Dear Mr. James Watts:

I am honored to be selected as a recipient of the Mississippi State Equine Association Endowed Scholarship. Thank you for your genrosity in providing this award. Originally from Arkansas, I am entering into my senior year studying Animal and Dairy Sciences. With my acceptance into the Early Entry Veterinary Program, I plan to also enter Vet School next summer at MSU to complete a DVM.


Mid South Little Britches Champions - 2023

Mid South Little Britches Champions - 2023

Cara Beth Calhoun (right) was the winner of the high point year end saddle sponsored by MSEA. Josi Johnson (left) was the reserve champion for the Senior Barrel Racing Champion.


National Little Britches Rodeo Finals - 2023

Josie - Queen from Mid-south Little Britches

Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, OK. 1600 kids participated Pictured is Josie, Queen from Mid-south Little Britches


Mid-South Little Britches Finals - May 2023

Mid-South Little Britches Finals, Brandon MS, President Judd Sanborn

Mid-South Little Britches Awards

Mid-South Little Britches Finals, May 2023 in Brandon, MS. Pictured from left to right, James Rasberry, James Watts, and Little Britches President, Judd Sanborn. Numerous awards were given to the winners.


Magnolia State Showdown - June 3-4, 2023

Magnolia State Showdown

Magnolia State Showdown - June 3-4, 2023

Magnolia State Showdown

DJ Cow Horses - April 1, 2023

DJ Cow Horses

DJ Forest Show

DJ Forest Show
DJ Forest Show
DJ Forest Show
DJ Forest Show
DJ Forest Show
DJ Forest Show

New Elated Queens for the Little Britches Season

New Elated Queens for the Little Britches Season

  • 2023 MSLBRA Little Wrangler Princess - Emerson Fuller (redshirt)
  • 2023 MSLBRA Junior Princess-Allie Brooke Bolen (purple shirt)
  • 2023 MSLBRA Senior Queen - Josi Johnson (blue shirt)

MSEA Commits to Support the Therapeutic Riding Program at MSU

- Another $25,000 Commit to MSU

MSEA Commits to Support the Therapeutic Riding Program at MSU

MSEA commits to support the Therapeutic Riding Program at MSU over a 5 year period. Pictured are James Watts, James Rasberry, Lacey Gordon - Assistant Director of Development CALS, MAFES, Extension, Cassie Brunson - MSU Extension Equine Assisted Therapy Program Coordinator, and Lori Irvin - MSU Extension Equine Assisted Services, Veterans Horsemanship Program Coordinator. Not pictured, but involved, is Will Staggers - Director of Development CALS, MAFES, Extension.


National Little Britches Rodeo Finals in Guthrie, OK

National Little Britches Rodeo Finals in Guthrie, OK

Josi Johnson competed at the Little Britches National Finals Rodeo in Guthrie OK July 4 thru 10. She brought home a Reserve Champion Buckle and money in the Senior Girls Trail class from the 1st Go. Josi also competed in Barrels and Poles during Finals. She and her horse were ranked 4th in the nation in Barrels with National Little Britches Rodeo Association prior to Finals.she is from Decatur an president of the ffa in newton county


National Little Britches Rodeo Finals - Josi Johnson

Josi Johnson representing MS at the National Little Britches Finals in Guthrie, OK

National Little Britches Rodeo Finals
Josi Johnson representing MS at the National Little Britches Finals in Guthrie, OK


National Little Britches Rodeo Finals

National Little Britches Rodeo Finals - Josi Johnson receiving a Sponsorship Check from James Rasberry

National Little Britches Rodeo Finals
Josi Johnson receiving a Sponsorship Check from James Rasberry, President of The Mississippi State Equine Association to help cover expenses while Josi and her horse Champ compete at National Little Britches Rodeo Finals in Guthrie OK July 4-10, 2022. Josi is from Decatur MS


Youth Sorting Champions

Abigayle Hampton-Fortner, Cali Brookshire

YOUTH SORTING CHAMPIONS
Abigayle Hampton-Fortner, Cali Brookshire


Youth Champions

Abigayle Hampton-Fortner, London Dickson, Sophee Evans

YOUTH CHAMPIONS
Abigayle Hampton-Fortner, London Dickson, Sophee Evans


2022 Battle in the Saddle - April 2, 2022

2022 Battle in the Saddle - April 2, 2022

MSEA Sponsors Dixie National Paint Horse Show - February 5-6, 2022

MSEA Sponsors Dixie National Paint Horse Show - February 5-6, 2022

Cinch Challenge - February 19-20, 2022

Cinch Challenge - February 19-20, 2022

2022 Battle in the Saddle - April 2, 2022

2022 Battle in the Saddle - April 2, 2022

MSEA Supports the MSU Riding Program

MSEA Supports the MSU Riding Program

James Rasberry, president of ms state equine association, presenting a check for 1000 to Cassie Brunson in support of the the therapeutic riding program at ms state university we are proud to be able to support this program each year the proceeds of the saddle up tag sales allow us to do this.

Sarah-Ashlyn Barber Chosen As A Recipient Of The MSEA Endowed Scholarship

Read her letter (PDF)


2019 Breakaway Roping Rookie

Maelee Wade

My Name is Maelee Wade, I’m 14 years old and in the 9th grade. This is my first year as a regular member of the Southeastern Professional Cowboy association. The rodeo season runs March to October and in that time I won or placed at multiple rodeos that secured my spot to the finals that were held January 31 & February 1st at the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia MS. The first go of the finals I split 1st place, the second go I won 3rd and ended up 2nd in the average. I also ended the year as the Breakaway Roping Rookie of the year. Thank you so much for your support for the Breakaway Roping and the SPRA! Buckle was sponsored by MSEA.

Vic Schaffer is welcomed to the Mississippi Therapeutic Riding center "fund raiser" sale

Vic Shafer

A great personality and an outstanding SEC champion coach, Vic Schaffer is welcomed to the Mississippi Therapeutic Riding center "fund raiser" sale. MSEA president James Rasberry and Executive Director James Watts were on hand to welcome the coach and wish him and his team well in 2020.


High Point Winner In Men's Division at the Mississippi State Horse Show

Adam Alexander

This is Adam Alexander who won a saddle by exhibiting in western pleasure judged classes; Jr. Western Pleasure, Sr. Western Pleasure, 2 &3 Year Old Western Pleasure, Walk Trot 18 &Over. A combination of his placing awarded him High Point winner in Men's Division at the Mississippi State Horse Show in September, 2019. He is from Kosciusko, MS


Mississippi State Equine Association room at the brand new Animal and Science building on the campus at MSU

Mississippi State Equine Association room at the brand new Animal and Science building on the campus at MSU

Infinite Impact Campaign Donation Letter

Infinite Impact Campaign

(click to enlarge)


MSEA Presents Donation to MSU Equestrian Riding Team

James Rasberry and Clay Cavender

James Rasberry, President of MSEA, presented a donation to Professor Clay Cavender of the Equestrian Riding team at Mississippi State University in the amount of $1,000. This donation helps with the expenses for traveling and related fees. Our goal is to support equine events everywhere we can help. All of the proceeds of the sales of the SaddleUp car tags are returned to the equine industry.


Fundraiser for the Therapeutic Riding Program

Fundraiser for the Therapeutic Riding Program

MSEA donated license plates 2 and 7 for the fundraiser for the Therapeutic Riding Program at Mississippi State University. Pictured are Thomas and Terri Nusz, along with MSEA President, James Rasberry and MSEA Executive Director, James Watts. Proceeds went directly to the program. The tags sold for a combined $2,050. MSEA thanks them very much for their support.

Also at the fundraiser, President of MSEA, James Rasberry is with Carter Clark, a student at Mississippi State University who volunteers with the program and also the granddaughter of James Rasberry, and Cassie Brunson, Director of the riding program.


Hope Rides Here Event

Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM CDT
The Mill at MSU - The Mill Conference Center

Hosted by MSU Equine Assisted Therapy Programs

Hope Rides Here

The core focus of the Therapeutic Riding program as well as the Veteran's Horsemanship program is to create an environment for positive healing and empowerment.


MSEA President, James Rasberry, World Finals Reserve Champions Article in Mississippi Farm Country Magazine

State Board Member James Rasberry of Kosciusko has competed in team penning events for many years. Imagine his pride when his team was named Reserve Champions (second place) in the 2017 U.S. Team Penning Association's (USTPA) world finals in Texas this fall.


MSEA Sponsors SAFE Horse Auction in Jackson

SAFE Horse Auction in Jackson

The Mississippi State Equine Association is again sponsoring the auction of Mississippi’s Safe Horse Sale in at the Kirk Fordice Equine Center in Jackson, MS. . Stephanie Billingsley is Chairman of the project, and “welcomes” all equestrians to attend the sale (with trailers) from 9am - 4pm on Saturday, May 19th, 2018.

View the Larger Version


Reserve World Champions At USTPA 2017 National World Championship Show

Reserve World Champions At USTPA 2017 National World Championship Show at Fort Worth, Texas

James Rasberry (from left), Katie McGuffin, and Dustin Johnson.

Reserve World Champions At USTPA 2017 National World Championship Show at Fort Worth, Texas


James Rasberry Is MSEA President

“Rooster” Rasberry always got up too early. That’s what his mother said, and that’s why she nicknamed him when he was about two or three years old.

Maybe that’s why James S. Rasberry is an accomplished builder… and builder of many things. James is the President of the Mississippi State Equine Association and for lots of reasons.

He was on his father’s framing crew when he was l5 years old, and was trimming homes in his native Attala County when he was 20. Three years later, James was still getting up early, feeding the horses and starting his own construction company. By 1985 “Rooster” Rasberry was the youngest President ever elected from the 2,000-member Home Builders Association of Mississippi.

During that time two of his three daughters started riding competitively. It was a weekend ritual to load horses “early” and travel anywhere in Mississippi for a horse show, and get back home at 2 or 3 a.m. While the girls were barrel racing and riding western pleasure, Rasberry introduced himself to a sport that was new to the State of Mississippi in the early 1990’s. Team penning was a new craze that had just reached Mississippi, and he said, “it spread like wildfire.”


James Watts Is MSEA's 2018 Executive Director

James Watts says he was “probably promoting an economic development program” when asked what did you do prior to the creation of the Mississippi State Equine Association.

James calls himself a public relations guru and insists he was trained by some of Mississippi’s greatest. “I’m not saying I was one of them, but I worked for num-erous public relations giants in Mississippi,” he said.

As one of the founders of the MSEA, James started his career as a copy boy for the STATE TIMES, a competitive daily for Mississippi news in 1959. It was part time and he worked for owner and publisher Dumas Milner, editor Paul Tiblett and sports editor Jimmie McDowell. After a full summer at the corner of South State and Lamar Streets in Jackson, “I decided I had some experience” so maybe the CLARION-LEDGER might be interested in me.


Equine Appreciation Vehicle License Plate Ceremony - April 13, 2007

MSEA Signing

Governor Haley Barbour formally approved the sale of Mississippi's first "equine appreciation" vehicle license plate at ceremonies in his Capitol office on Friday.

Pictured with the Governor signing S.B. 2090 are representatives of the sponsoring Mississippi State Equine Association. From the left are James Rasberry of Kosciusko, MSEA President; Dr. Terry Kiser, Head of Animal and Dairy Sciences, MSU; George Phillips, Mississippi Commissioner of Public Safety; David Ashcraft of Madison; Murl Brunson of Terry; Dr. Preston Buff, Equine Specialist, MSU; Ruth Hinton of Natchez; and James Watts of Brandon, who serves as MSEA's Executive Director. A banner depicting the new tag, which can be seen on MSEA's website www.mssaddleup.org, is draped across the table in front of the Governor.

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