CHEYENNE, Wyo. (July 23, 2019) – Shad Mayfield might be the busiest 18-year-old at this year’s Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.
The tie-down roper competed here in the qualifying rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 16 and 17. He roped his first calf here in 12.4 seconds, then won the second round with a time of 9.5 seconds, just a tic over the arena record of 9.4 seconds set last year. He roped again here on July 22 and 23 and was once again successful with times of 12.6 and 11.6, placing in the top four both days. So far, he has won $6,666 here and has an opportunity to win more.
Amongst his runs here in Frontier Park, he was also taking advantage of his final qualification for the National High School Finals Rodeo held in Rock Springs, Wyoming, July 14 – 20. He roped three calves there faster than anyone else in the field and left with the national championship. He also competed at the California Rodeo Salinas and finished fourth overall.
“It’s been unbelievable,” Mayfield said of the last week. “I’ve never had any luck at the high school finals. To win it and do well at these other rodeos is a huge blessing.”
A year ago, he got to be a spectator at Cheyenne when they stopped on their way back to their home in Clovis, N.M. after the high school finals. This year, he did far more than spectate. Prior to the 123rd “Daddy of ‘em All,” he was 24th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Standings. He is about $7,000 outside of the top 15 and, if he gets a good check here in the Championship Finals, he could very well move up and put himself in position to qualify for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Mayfield’s success here has come on a horse that is just two years younger than he is. Django has been great in this big arena and has worked well over the 30-foot head start that the cattle get. Not long after roping here, they were headed to Deadwood, South Dakota, for another rodeo, then will be coming back to Cheyenne to rope again.
It has been a family effort for the Mayfields. Shad’s dad, Sylvester, a former NFR qualifier in the tie-down roping, has been coaching him and traveling with him. His mom Joellen has been keeping things together at home. And, while his older sister Shelby isn’t directly involved, she is very supportive.
“I couldn’t do any of this without my family,” Shad said. “Everybody plays a part and I just hope that we all can keep it rolling.”
A new set of contestants will make their way to Cheyenne to compete at the fifth performance on Wednesday beginning at 12:45 p.m.