Shad Mayfield gets ready for his first NFR

by Siri Stevens

Shad Mayfield, from Clovis, New Mexico is the 2019 National High School Champion Tie Down Roper and has now qualified for his first WNFR. He grew up rodeoing. “My dad, Sylvester, did it, when we were little we went with them.” Sylvester made it to the NFR Finals twice (1985, 1987). “Since I turned 7, my parents took me to the junior rodeo associations.” He competed in New Mexico Junior Rodeo Association, making nationals all three years. He won the national title his sixth grade year in the ribbon roping, with his sister, Shelby. The next year he won the calf roping. Shad went on to high school rodeo, the first two years for New Mexico and then switched to Texas.

This is his first year rodeoing in the PRCA and he had his sights set on making the NFR his rookie year. He got a big boost in that direction after making enough money at Cheyenne to boost him into the #14 spot. He traveled with his dad. “He’s taught me everything about roping and everything around that. Since he made the NFR, he knows all about how to make a living at it and the mental game.” Shad listens to Tyson Durfey about having a strong mind. “That’s how you think … it’s a big part of it. Just blocking everything out – the interviews – the other runs, the bad draws and all of it.”

He also attributes his success to riding a lot of different horses over the years and having a rope in his hand constantly. “I rope a lot at home,” said the 18 year old. “I’ve roped on a lot of different horses so I know how to ride a horse. I rope the dummy a lot.” His main competition horse is a 16-year-old gelding named Jango. “He is probably the most honest horse out there. He’s the same horse when you back in the box and never going to cost you anything.”

He also likes the road. “There’s nothing but a Walmart in Clovis. I like to drive and see different places.”  He also likes traveling with his dad. “Most people don’t rodeo like I do and that’s why he’s with me. He may think I don’t listen, but I do.”

Mom, JoEllen, stays home.  “I’m the hired hand at home,” she jokes. “I worked as a mortgage loan process up until I had Shad. Once he was born I chose to stay home and be with them. I was able to do that – I’m a substitute teacher now.” Sylvester can work on the road – he buys and sells cattle.

She is very proud of both her kids. “I have two great kids – my daughter is at Texas Tech and has a lot of ambition. She is focused on school and her career. God blessed Shad with a talent – and he’s worked extremely hard. He sacrificed basketball and other things to make rodeo first. He amazes me – I have all the confidence in the world in him.”

Shad intends to continue his education, hoping to start college within a year. “I want to have an education and start doing something else to fall back on.” For now, it’s rodeo that he’s concentrating on. He’s especially grateful to his sponsors, which include CSI, American Hat Company,  Hooey, Outlaw Equine, Tres Rios, Rock and Roll Denim, and Rattler Ropes.

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