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Clovis, Shad Mayfield, a New Mexico native, attended his first Natioal High School finals last summer in Wyoming. The emotion in the 15-year-old’s voice is tasty and it’s obvious that rodeo is everything to him.
“I’ve been in this all my life, ” said Shad. “My dad was always bluffing, so he helped me on the way I was 7.”
His father, Sylvester Mayfield, reached the NFR finals twice (1985, 1987) and it is something that clearly impresses Shad. He wanted to follow his father’s example and get to work. Shad beef ropes and team ropes, and after three years on NMJRHS, he is finally on NMHSRA.
“First I wanted to ride bulls, but I started not liking it so much,” Shad explained. “The bulls scared me when I was little. I rode calves and steers until I was 12.
Shad soon realized that he preferred calf ropes and decided to pursue that strength. “I really like his athletic looks,” Shad said. “It’s easier and my dad knows it inside and out, so he can teach me.”
Shad is intrigued by the competitive aspect of the rodeo and the incredible opportunities the rodeo has presented to him. It stays in shape “tying a lot of calves”.
Shad went to high school at Texico Junior High and is a sophomore at Texico High School, just 10 miles from Clovis. Her mother, Jo Ellen Mayfield, happens to be a teacher there. “She keeps me in line, ” joked Shad.
Although he only wants rope, he’s going to go to college as a backup plan. He dreams of winning the World Championship in calf rope, but realizes that he must be 18 before he can join the PRCA. He has been at NMJRHS for three years and joined NMHSRA in his first year of high school.
“I really like the community,” Shad said. “We go to events every weekend. Sometimes it can be hard to juggl, but I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve done it quite easily.”
Although her mother has never been surrounded, she knows a lot about filming all of Shad’s events and paying close attention to what she does. Her sister Shelby Mayfield, 17, also runs in barrels at NMHSRA, so rodeo always prevails in Mayfield’s home.
Shad’s greatest achievement was to beat NMJRHS nationals in sixth grade in the ribbon cable category.
“It was pretty impressive,” Shad said. “My sister ran my ribbon, so we won it together.”
Every day, Shad takes care of horses and cattle on his family’s small ranch. They have 20 horses on the property, but Reno is their favorite.
“I like its color and it always works well for me,” Shad said. “I also have others I mount to, but he’s my main horse.”
Although Shad used to play basketball and football, he quit once he arrived in high school to concentrate on the rodeo. He is especially grateful to his sponsors, including Impact Gel, American Hat Company, Willard Rope Company and Tres Rios Silver.
“It’s my life and I love going out on the road every weekend,” Shad said. “I like to win too. I just hope to be smart with the rope and always try to do my best.”