Rookie, Shad Mayfield, Wins THSRA, NHSRA, Cheyenne Average…Now On To NFR
Shad Mayfield has been on a roll his rookie year!
“This year has truly been nothing short of a dream come true. Growing up, my biggest goal in life was to make it to the National Finals Rodeo just as my dad, Sylvester Mayfield, did many years ago. I had a rope in my hand in all of my earliest memories and my dad’s encouraging words were instilled in my mind: “You are a champion, but winning requires hard work,” he always told me. Those words always motivated me to go the extra mile and do everything with intent.
“In my younger years, I wasn’t always the best and that’s something I want people to know about me. My first big roping was Barry Burke’s Junior Roping in Ardmore, Oklahoma when I was around 10 years old. I didn’t win a single thing and the only thing I accomplished all day was getting my name called. After not succeeding, it truly lit a fire in me to be better. I went home with a new mindset, not only did I want to be better, I wanted to be the best. It’s crazy to look back and think, that time was only around 8 years ago now. To see how far I have come is a testament to what you can do when you invest yourself in your dreams.
“Fast forward to now, I can officially call myself a NFR Qualifier. When I turned 18, I hit the road and went to every rodeo I could while still doing high school online and competing in High School Rodeos. With everything I did professionally, I still had one goal I wanted to accomplish, and that was winning a world title at the National High School Finals Rodeo. I won the State Championship at the Texas High School Finals for the second year in a row, which was a huge accomplishment that I will remember my whole life. After that big win, I had a hurdle to get over and that was taking the top spot at nationals. The 3 years I qualified prior, I never did as well as I had wanted, but this year I felt much more mature and confident. While also competing at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo I planned on doing no more than making 3 good runs. With success at Cheyenne, it gave me the confidence I needed at nationals. With my best friend in the box and my best horse Django, I finally accomplished my goal of winning the National High School Finals. This win along with my success at Cheyenne gave me the push I needed to finish the rest of the PRCA season.
“Roping at Cheyenne was a turning point in my career I will remember for the rest of my life. Before that rodeo, I was winning small rodeos here and there, sitting about 35th in the world. I started to lose faith in myself that I would make it to the NFR. After doing well there, it catapulted me into the top 20 and I started to think “Wow, I can really do this thing.” Cheyenne will always be one of my favorite rodeos. The all-night drives, flights, and fast-food became a lot easier to deal with once I knew I had a chance. All I needed was a little bit of validation to keep me going.
“After Cheyenne I had a few more wins pushing me into the top 15, this was when my mental strength had to kick in. I had one job to do at each rodeo and I couldn’t let my head get in the way. I stayed consistent and kept making practice pen runs. My dad drove me most of the way and having him there for support is something I am very grateful for. It came down to the end and I was on the bubble with several other very tough ropers. I respect each one of them and would have been happy for them if it would have been them as well. A big win in Stephenville, TX is what tied the knot for me. Excited is a word that is a complete understatement for what I am feeling and I cannot wait to compete in the Thomas and Mack.
“I would like to give recognition to all of the people who have helped me get here, because it truly takes a village. My dad taught me everything I know and has pushed me to reach things I couldn’t have imagined. My mom taught me to be humble and patient because all good things come with time. My sister taught me to be a competitor. We competed for everything growing up and she made me the fighter I am today. My sponsors have invested their time in me and they saw my potential from the start, I could not thank them enough. With that being said, it’s time to go win a gold buckle.” -Shad Mayfield
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