Rookie, Shad Mayfield, Wins THSRA, NHSRA, Cheyenne Average…Now On To NFR

Shad Mayfield has been on a roll his rookie year!
shad mayfield rookie american hat co American Hat Company Keith Maddox hat king
Photos courtesy of Click Thompson Photography

“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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