The Road
Jess Traveled


Passion & Positivity: The Cowgirl Chronicles

To say Lexie Russell lives and breathes horses would be an understatement. From a very young age, she grew an affinity for horses while watching her grandpa train American Paint Horse Association (APHA) race horses – many of which would eventually secure World Championships. Lexie’s grandpa has always been her hero, so she took every opportunity to be just like him. And that meant liking fast horses.

Sorrel roping horse stopping hard after roping a steer and the arena dust is flying

Lexie runs a successful performance breeding and sale program out of her family’s ranch in Gainesville, TX with a brand we all recognize… a coffee cup. The brand pays tribute to her beloved grandpa who used to spend his days conversing with other breeders at the local cafe. They spent hours forging relationships and dreaming up the future of the racing business, all over a cup of joe.

The coffee cup brand can be seen on a horse's hip while he swishes his tail in the light.

“My horses are family.”

One of the things they thought was just a dream over coffee at the time, today is a reality for the Russell family. Lexie’s dad runs ViaGen, a cutting-edge company committed to cloning healthy pets. Their leading scientists and animal lovers are pushing the genetic research field forward for the benefit of all animals. 

Lexie rides smiling next to her youth rider as they warm up for a lesson.

In fact, one of the pillars of Lexie’s breeding program, Pure Tailor Fit, is a clone. He is a genetic match to Tailor Fit, the legendary two-time AQHA Racing World Champion with lifetime earnings of $1,299,010. The famed gelding passed in 2011, but his legacy is able to march onward and benefit the industry with his proven genetics.

Lexie stand in the roping chute patiently waiting for her the gate to be pulled then chases after the calf.

Lexie is a student at Oklahoma State University (OSU) and rides for their Rodeo Team. Between her schoolwork, she balances her breeding business, rodeo career, training barrel racing and breakaway horses, and teaching youth lessons. Through it all, she manages to always have a big smile on her face and a contagious positive attitude.

Lexie walks next to her friend Cheyenne as they get ready to team rope.

“Having a big dream that burns a fire in your soul will keep you pushing forward even in the valley.”

Lexie has built her life around horses and knows that’s exactly where she was meant to be. The horses are her family. They make laugh, they make her yell and scream, they make her fist pump in victory, and throw her sucker in the dirt in defeat. From listening to them eat to watching them buck and play in the pasture, all horses mean something special to Lexie. She treasures having the opportunity to be part of each of their unique stories.

Lexie heels for Cheyenne who is heading as they team team after a steer.

Lexie is a pure example of a cowgirl. She knows that being a cowgirl means working harder than the average person and never giving up. It means caring more about your horses than yourself, which means early mornings and late nights. When mentoring young riders, Lexie always encourages them to find a dream and chase it hard, because a passionate person with a dream doesn’t struggle getting out of bed in the morning. A passionate person has a clear purpose in life and has the motivation to dig their heels in when times get tough.

Here’s to finding what lights you up in life and giving it your all. Here’s to living with integrity and carrying a smile with you every step of the way. Here’s to Lexie.

Lexie and her friend Cheyenne run their horses smiling through a pond.

The Cowgirl Chronicles are a collection of photography essays celebrating the lifestyle of cowgirls and their adventures. If you have a cowgirl you’d like to nominate, want to share your own cowgirl story, or are interested in supporting this project, please contact Jessica here.

The Cowgirl Chronicles




Passion & Positivity: The Cowgirl Chronicles

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