Round 6 resulted in World Champion Shad Mayfield’s first round win of the 2022 NFR when he caught and tied his calf in 6.5 seconds to match a Thomas & Mack arena record.
The Perfect Calf
Knowing the calves and riding the right horse paid off for Shad Mayfield like he never could have imagined, but he has dreamt of moments like this since he was a child roping anything that moved. Throughout the first five rounds, he drew really strong calves that had a reputation for kicking.
In Round 6, Mayfield drew Haven Meged’s Round 3 calf, on which he was 7. Mayfield couldn’t have been any happier. He was confident he could be faster, and faster he was.
Mayfield’s buddy John Douch stopped the clock in 6.6 seconds right before he roped. The electricity in the building, combined with getting on a different horse and having a great calf, was the perfect scenario for Mayfield to stop the clock in 6.5. The time was worth his first-round win of the 2022 event and adding his name to the list of arena record holders in the Thomas & Mack.
A Platinum Horse
Mayfield had been riding Rampage who he felt fit the stronger calves. When he knew the calf drawn for him was fast, he made the switch to Platinum.
“I didn’t want to take a wrap and a hooey, but I felt like I had to,” Mayfield said. “When I got back on Platinum, I was motioning for the crowd to be quiet. That was the longest 6 seconds of my life. Then I was ready for the crowd. This place is so electric and I just felt like I could capitalize on that.”
Mayfield’s new record ties with two of his heroes. Cody Ohl was first to set that record in 2003 and Trevor Brazile matched it in 2015.
Lessons from the Past: Cody Ohl’s Meteoric 2014 Regular Season
“It means so much to me to have my name up there with those two guys,” Mayfield added. “I’ve watched them rope my whole life. I was excited for John. But when I backed in the box, I just told myself, ‘It’s on,’ and nodded my head.”
Mayfield’s win on Tuesday night added $28,914 to his season earnings. It also helped him in the average, where he moved from ninth to sixth. He is now just $11,064 behind Caleb Smidt, who has placed in all six rounds. Smidt has command of the average with 45.7 seconds on six runs and has won $126,821 here, so far, to give him a total of $276,337. Mayfield earnings add up to $265,273 so far.
Second in the average is now the 19-year-old roping sensation Riley Webb with a total time of 55.3. Meged, who was in that position, got a barrier and dropped to fifth. Cory Solomon had a horse change tonight as well. He got on Cisco and moved to third in the average after stopping the clock in 8.0 seconds. He placed third in the round and has a total of 56.3 on six head.