Brett Hoffman

Throughout the past year on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, tie-down roper Shad Mayfield has been one of the sport’s more captivating competitors.

At the beginning of the 2020 regular season, the Clovis, New Mexico, cowboy lassoed bigger check after bigger check.

For example, he pocketed $603,000 for clinching the tie-down roping title at the RFD-TV’s The American in March at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. At that point, he had built a huge lead in the 2020 PRCA tie-down roping world standings, more than doubling his rivals.

Throughout the rest of the regular season, Mayfield successfully protected his lead during a challenging time when many rodeos were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. He entered the Wrangler National Finals on Dec. 3 at Globe Life Field in Arlington with a huge marginal lead in the world standings.

But during the 2020 Wrangler NFR, Mayfield fell into a big slump and watched his lead dwindle. He turned a no time in six of the 10 rounds. He placed in only two rounds.

When the dust settled, Mayfield clinched his first world title by a razor thin margin. He finished the year with 198,399 world title race points. Marty Yates of Stephenville finished second with 198,168.

Most of the time, competitors secure world titles partially as the result of getting on a roll throughout the National Finals. But for Mayfield, it was the opposite. Most of his money was made during the regular season.

Out of the $198,399.13 that Mayfield earned that counted toward the 2020 PRCA tie-down roping world standings, $156,668.36 of that was during the regular season. He pocketed $41,730.77 at the NFR.

Knowing that he snared the world title by such a thin margin, Mayfield said he benefitted from his willingness to compete in smaller rodeos during the regular season.

“I guess it was a good thing that I ducked off to some of those low paying rodeos because it paid off,” Mayfield said. “We didn’t have a lot of the big rodeos this summer. I would get bored at home and I would duck off to Mesquite, Texas, or anywhere like that were you win $400 or $500 (several hundred world title race points). Some of those places paid off.”

But he mostly benefitted from excelling at larger early season rodeos in cities such as Fort Worth, San Angelo, Houston, San Antonio and Arlington.

“I think it was all part of God’s plan,” Mayfield said. “It really set up this year and it set up the world championship because I didn’t have a great Finals, but I won just enough (throughout the NFR).”

Mayfield, 20, said clinching the world title has been a longtime goal. Throughout his roping career, he’s been tutored by his father, Sylvester Mayfield, who qualified for the National Finals in tie-down roping in 1985 and 1987.

Asked if he’s motivated to pursue additional championships, Mayfield said: “I’m pumped to go for more. I’m pumped to have a better Finals. I mentally have to be better at the NFR. It’s not guaranteed that I will have another year like I did this year during the regular season, so, I’m going to have to step up and rope better next year.”

A strong finish

When Snyder cowgirl Jill Wilson and her gelding Blue Dean competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Arlington, the duo never turned in the fastest time of the night.

But throughout the Dec. 3-12 championships at Globe Life Field, they continually made solid, penalty free runs and it paid off in the end.

Wilson entered the Wrangler NFR in sixth place in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing world standings. She finished third in the 2020 world title race thanks to the dependable performances from 15-year-old Blue Dean throughout the Wrangler NFR.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything any better from him,” she said. “He was spot on. We didn’t always run some of the fastest times, but we were very consistent. Every run, he worked well and did his job. Some runs clocked a little faster than the others, but I felt like overall that he tried and gave me 110 every round.”

Wilson placed in four rounds and finished second in the 10-run average/aggregate title race ($54,576). All in all, Wilson pocketed $112,384 during her first National Finals.

Wilson said she thrived in the atmosphere at Globe Life Field. There was enough space for barrel racers to hang out behind the arena inside the venue before competing, which is nonexistent at many indoor venues.

“You kind of got to get in there and get yourself and your horse kind of acclimated to the environment and the loud and the crowd and just the whole surrounding, rather than kind of being stuck off out to the side in a tunnel or even outside of the building and you just blow in and it’s such a shock, which is how it is at a lot of coliseums,” she said. “It kind gave me time to get in there, breathe, relax and soak it all in and not be so worked up.”

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has covered rodeos and horse show events for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than 35 years. Email him at bchoffman777@earthlink.net.Mayfield proves he is captivating competitor

By Brett Hoffman

Rodeo Writer

Throughout the past year on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, tie-down roper Shad Mayfield has been one of the sport’s more captivating competitors.

At the beginning of the 2020 regular season, the Clovis, New Mexico, cowboy lassoed bigger check after bigger check.

For example, he pocketed $603,000 for clinching the tie-down roping title at the RFD-TV’s The American in March at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. At that point, he had built a huge lead in the 2020 PRCA tie-down roping world standings, more than doubling his rivals.

Throughout the rest of the regular season, Mayfield successfully protected his lead during a challenging time when many rodeos were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. He entered the Wrangler National Finals on Dec. 3 at Globe Life Field in Arlington with a huge marginal lead in the world standings.

But during the 2020 Wrangler NFR, Mayfield fell into a big slump and watched his lead dwindle. He turned a no time in six of the 10 rounds. He placed in only two rounds.

When the dust settled, Mayfield clinched his first world title by a razor thin margin. He finished the year with 198,399 world title race points. Marty Yates of Stephenville finished second with 198,168.

Most of the time, competitors secure world titles partially as the result of getting on a roll throughout the National Finals. But for Mayfield, it was the opposite. Most of his money was made during the regular season.

Out of the $198,399.13 that Mayfield earned that counted toward the 2020 PRCA tie-down roping world standings, $156,668.36 of that was during the regular season. He pocketed $41,730.77 at the NFR.

Knowing that he snared the world title by such a thin margin, Mayfield said he benefitted from his willingness to compete in smaller rodeos during the regular season.

“I guess it was a good thing that I ducked off to some of those low paying rodeos because it paid off,” Mayfield said. “We didn’t have a lot of the big rodeos this summer. I would get bored at home and I would duck off to Mesquite, Texas, or anywhere like that were you win $400 or $500 (several hundred world title race points). Some of those places paid off.”

But he mostly benefitted from excelling at larger early season rodeos in cities such as Fort Worth, San Angelo, Houston, San Antonio and Arlington.

“I think it was all part of God’s plan,” Mayfield said. “It really set up this year and it set up the world championship because I didn’t have a great Finals, but I won just enough (throughout the NFR).”

Mayfield, 20, said clinching the world title has been a longtime goal. Throughout his roping career, he’s been tutored by his father, Sylvester Mayfield, who qualified for the National Finals in tie-down roping in 1985 and 1987.

Asked if he’s motivated to pursue additional championships, Mayfield said: “I’m pumped to go for more. I’m pumped to have a better Finals. I mentally have to be better at the NFR. It’s not guaranteed that I will have another year like I did this year during the regular season, so, I’m going to have to step up and rope better next year.”

A strong finish

When Snyder cowgirl Jill Wilson and her gelding Blue Dean competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Arlington, the duo never turned in the fastest time of the night.

But throughout the Dec. 3-12 championships at Globe Life Field, they continually made solid, penalty free runs and it paid off in the end.

Wilson entered the Wrangler NFR in sixth place in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing world standings. She finished third in the 2020 world title race thanks to the dependable performances from 15-year-old Blue Dean throughout the Wrangler NFR.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything any better from him,” she said. “He was spot on. We didn’t always run some of the fastest times, but we were very consistent. Every run, he worked well and did his job. Some runs clocked a little faster than the others, but I felt like overall that he tried and gave me 110 every round.”

Wilson placed in four rounds and finished second in the 10-run average/aggregate title race ($54,576). All in all, Wilson pocketed $112,384 during her first National Finals.

Wilson said she thrived in the atmosphere at Globe Life Field. There was enough space for barrel racers to hang out behind the arena inside the venue before competing, which is nonexistent at many indoor venues.

“You kind of got to get in there and get yourself and your horse kind of acclimated to the environment and the loud and the crowd and just the whole surrounding, rather than kind of being stuck off out to the side in a tunnel or even outside of the building and you just blow in and it’s such a shock, which is how it is at a lot of coliseums,” she said. “It kind gave me time to get in there, breathe, relax and soak it all in and not be so worked up.”

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has covered rodeos and horse show events for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than 35 years. Email him at bchoffman777@earthlink.net.

Trending Video

Recommended for you