ACCS graduate looks forward to representing Natchez to friends, family

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The fun and excitement continue for Leo L. Joseph III, king of the Historic Natchez Pageant through March 24.

Reigning with Queen Megan Margaret Guido and representing the Natchez Garden Club, Joseph said his family stepped up for the occasion and helped with all the details that go into serving in his position.

&8220;It&8217;s really fun to represent Natchez in this way,&8221; he said. &8220;And I just thank my parents for making this possible.&8221;

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The son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo L. Joseph Jr., the king said his grandfather, David New, and his aunt, Nan New, have worked hard to make his reign and the ball held Saturday great successes for him.

His sisters, Lisa Brown and Suzanne Joseph, also have helped with details. In fact, Brown&8217;s son, Joshua Hargon is a page to the king.

Joseph is a senior at Mississippi College in Clinton, where he is an accounting major. Earlier this week, he learned he has been accepted to enter the University of Mississippi School of Law in the fall.

&8220;I really enjoy the law courses, and I&8217;ve always been good with numbers,&8221; he said. &8220;I&8217;ll probably go into tax law or corporate law.&8221;

His favorite pastimes are horses and hunting. Before his college career began, he spent every weekend either showing horses or hunting, he said.

&8220;I&8217;ve always hunted, as long as I can remember,&8221; he said.

As for the horses, the family always had kept horses, but he became interested in showing them. &8220;I would spend 30 weekends out of the year showing horses across the South,&8221; he said. &8220;The other 22 weekends, I hunted.&8221;

The trips across the South paid off in many ways. Joseph became a champion; and he and his parents made dear friends on the circuit, many of whom are in Natchez this weekend for the pageant and the ball.

&8220;This weekend will be so neat,&8221; he said earlier in the week. &8220;We&8217;ll get a chance to have many of the people we met at horse shows to see what Natchez is all about. They don&8217;t know what they&8217;re getting into,&8221; he said.

When the invitations went out to his horse show friends, the response to his explanation about the pageant and king role was, &8220;You do what?&8221;

&8220;We became really close with these people. Whole families are coming,&8221; Joseph said.

Showing horses involves performing with the horse, Joseph said. &8220;There are obstacles and patterns, and you&8217;re judged on your ability to ride and the horse&8217;s ability to perform.&8221;

Joseph won both national and world champion titles at the Palomino Horse Breeders of America shows.

&8220;It takes spending a lot of time in the arena with the horse,&8221; he said. &8220;You have to know the horse. The judges shouldn&8217;t be able to tell you&8217;re communicating with the horse.&8221;

Joseph recalled one judge telling him that it&8217;s a magic act. &8220;That&8217;s the best description I&8217;ve heard,&8221; he said.

Some of his friends from Mississippi College will be in Natchez for the weekend, as well. &8220;I know all my classmates and have enjoyed getting to know my professors,&8221; he said. &8220;It&8217;s a neat place because it&8217;s small and everyone gets to know each other.&8221;

Back to the books and the end of his college career at MC, Joseph will move on to law school guided by the same principles he learned from his parents and grandparents.

&8220;Mainly they have taught me to work hard and do things right,&8221; he said.

&8220;I&8217;ve heard my grandfather say a thousand times, &8216;anything worth doing is worth doing right,&8217;&8221; he said.