The McKee’s: Barrel Racing’s Super Couple

Dawn and Clea wrote this bonus feature about a dynamic duo that’s been making waves in the barrel racing world for decades. Max and Ellen McKee are a barrel racing super couple who deserve credit for countless top horses and riders. Learn a little more about two of the teams they’ve influenced below. 

"I got it buddy!" - Cara Kaufman to Max McKee

Have you ever wondered about the horses that click with their riders? Well here are 2 people that clicked with their horses this weekend and in a large part to Max and Ellen McKee

It was such a blessing to see Max at the State Show. We have all been worried about him and praying for him to feel better to be able to see 4 of his horses that he put his hard work and talented hands on to make them what they are today.

Cara Kaufman and Just a Smooth Stroker is one team that is moving up the ladder. She ran a 16.533 to win the 3rd Division in the 1st go then a 16.183 to place in the 2D on the 2nd go and a 16.218 to place in the 2D in the Finals. We had the pleasure to see Cara’s first run at Gifford, Illinois (you know home of Gina from The Oasis – scares us to even say it) and she has gotten nothing but net since then. We know that the help, love and devotion from the McKee’s has helped her progress with this black bullet they call “Stroker.” We also know that the help, love and devotion is all in return from Cara to the McKee’s. Way to go Cara!

Here is a little story about a man named Jed – Oh, we mean Max –This series of photos that tell a story of a Man and his devotion to helping others!

"Are you talking about the 1st Barrel Pocket?" - Cara Kaufman and Max McKee

Mary Francis Gorsuch and Pay Stroken Memories is another team that is now clicking again. Mary ran a 16.098 in the first go to get her beautiful grey gelding back to the finals, she scratched the 2nd go to save his energy for the Finals and boy did that pay off. Mary and Pay Stroken Memories came back to win the whole kitten kabootol! Clea and I were so proud of her as she seemed to be happier as the weekend went on and it showed in her times. We also watched Mary at Gifford, and the first thing we noticed was Ellen in her corner all the way when her and Pay Stroken Memories ran up the shoot. She has 3 sturdy steeds and it is nice to see here on all of them but we were thrilled to see her win the Open on the horse that Max and Ellen McKee – Oh and God – put on this earth.

"You better buckle up girl!" – Max McKee to Cara Kaufman

You can see a common factor here. The McKee’s. Now Ellen was no slouch this weekend with her grey horses and her runs. She suffered heat exhaustion over the weekend but managed to come back and roll through the timer with the best of them! Ellen you are tops in our book! Max you are a lucky lucky man!

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7 thoughts on “The McKee’s: Barrel Racing’s Super Couple

  1. great people–they love the horses and the sport and have always given back by helping others. Deena Fries

  2. A wonderful couple and a so devoted to the barrel racing industry! It is wonderful to see them still going strong and continuing to help others along the way! Only hope to be half as good they are !!!

  3. 2 of the greatest people I know.. I am blessed to call them family even know there is no blood relation between us.
    As a person they have always been there for me..another set of parents…and has taught me tons about being a horse person!! I only hope to know as much as they have forgotten… So love them!! Cindy

  4. Thanks for this awesome article….I have known Ellen since High School a “few” years back and through a lot of her horses and riding, and it was a blessing when she met and married Max…..both are GREAT people and long time friends…..Take care and ride them barrels clean……Regina Jacobs

    • ELLEN & MAX—- I AM SO PROUD OF YOU AND ALL YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. I AM SO HAPPY OUR PATHS HAVE CROSSED AND SUCH GOOD FRIENDS YOU ARE. ENJOYED THE PICTURES AND THE STORY……I WISH THE BEST FOR YOU BOTH. YOUR FRIEND , LIB W.

  5. Pingback: On the Road with Dawn and Clea (Part 2) | The Barrel Racing Blog

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