Shad Mayfield Hits $95K After San Antonio Win Despite Injury
After claiming the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo tie-down roping title Feb. 24, Shad Mayfield has $95,869.66 won on the ProRodeo season just three months into the new year and while battling hip injuries.
Shad Mayfield stepping off Platinum to tie his calf in the Finals at the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
Shad Mayfield and Platinum winning the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. | Hailey Rae photo

When Shad Mayfield backed in the Frost Bank Center box Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, to win the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, he had already dominated the tie-down roping with $11,750 won between two round wins and a Semifinals win. His $15,000 win that night in the Finals would not only bring his San Antonio earnings to $26,750 but his 2024 ProRodeo season earnings to $95,869.66.

As of March 1, the 2020 World Champion has a $53,180.97-lead over three-time NFR tie-down roper John Douch at second in the world.

READ: Money Mayfield Strikes at 2024 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

“It’s kind of unbelievable in a way,” said Mayfield, 23 of Clovis, New Mexico. “Win Fort Worth first, and now this. I woke up [the next] morning and looked at the standings, and it was just like, wow. I have no words for it. The whole time I was at San Antonio or thinking about it, I was like, ‘What if I win this rodeo? That would be amazing.’”

And while his earnings and recent wins alone are impressive, the fact that he’s dominating with a torn Labrum in both hips and femoral impingement. Though he was advised to have surgery, Mayfield made the tough decision to postpone it until after the NFR because of the year he’s already putting together.

“During my run, I have so much adrenaline I just battle it out,” Mayfield said. “Nothing’s going to stop me. I told myself I was going to have surgery after Houston and I was going to try to have $80,000 won after, but here I am with $95,000 before Houston. That’s what kind of made me decide I want to go all year.”

Mayfield’s dominance in the San Antonio brackets

Mayfield was dominant in his bracket, raking in $6,750 over the three rounds. He kicked things off with a 7.1 to win Round 1 for $2,500.

“I think that kind of opened up the rest of the week for me at San Antonio,” Mayfield said. “Starting off the way I did with a 7.1 just made me a little more comfortable in there. I always have been, but it kind of gave me that feeling again that this is my kind of my [arena] setup, and I love it there.”

His 7.8 in Round 2 split second and third for $1,750. In the third round he was back on top for the $2,500-round win, this time with an 8.0. With the round wins under his belt, Mayfield advanced to the Semifinals.

Contestants advanced to the Saturday night Finals based on overall money won, and Mayfield knew he likely had the Finals locked in even before the Semifinals. With a good calf drawn and nothing to lose, he decided to go for the round.

“I think that’s why I have so much success there,” he said. “You’re not roping for an average or anything where you have to worry about safetying up to go out there and just tie one down. Every night it’s like a shootout—go as fast as you can—and that’s how I like to rope. The longest I’ve tied a calf there is 8.0, so that just shows I like gunning for it every round. That’s why that kind of rodeo and Fort Worth just fit me so well.”

He was 7.7 seconds in the first Semifinal to win his set for $5,000 and move on to Saturday night.

Shad Mayfield taking a victory lap for winning the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
Shad Mayfield won his second San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo title in 2024 four years after his first. | Hailey Rae photo

Mayfield’s triumph in the San Antonio Finals

When Mayfield went to check the draw for the Finals round in San Antonio, he wasn’t too thrilled about his calf; she had gotten up in two rounds already, kicking the tie both times. 

 “I’m just not super confident in my tying right now or being able to cross the legs the way I need to,” Mayfield said of the challenges his hips are creating. 

Then came the game plan. Mayfield knew his horse would work well and that the faster he roped his calf, the more time he had to play with on the ground. 

“I had a really good start and got it on her fast and turned her around,” Mayfield said. “When I was getting my first wrap, she started to strain on me, and I just kept pushing and put two wraps and hoped she stayed down. I thought there were better calves in there, but I thought I made best with what I had.”

Not only did he make the best with what he had, he made the best run of the night with a 7.2-second run for $15,000, sealing the deal on his second San Antonio title. 

“It took everything out of me to make it happen, but it does feel that much better just to know that you had a calf that they hadn’t had a whole lot of success on, and you just won the rodeo on her,” Mayfield said. “That shows a lot.”

Mayfield’s winning horsepower

Mayfield’s recent major wins have come on two different horses. His bay mare “Lollipop” helped him get the win in Fort Worth, but former backup horse “Platinum” secured the win in San Antonio. To keep Platinum sound, the 15-year-old gray doesn’t travel much with Mayfield, who saves him for the setups like San Antonio has. 

“He’s so easy and that’s the thing: You have to have a horse that makes everything easy, that you can trust and works the same every time,” Mayfield said. I don’t have to go home and tune on him or anything. You can literally load him in the trailer and take him to a rodeo, and he’s going to work the same every time. That’s what I love about that horse.”

2020 déjà vu for Mayfield

When Mayfield won his gold buckle in 2020, he had a similar start to the season he’s having now, San Antonio title and all. But because COVID-19 shut the world down for the majority of the year, he never found out just what type of year he could have had. The experience has stuck with him and made him hopeful for 2024.

“That’s what I’ve always kind of thought about,” Mayfield admitted. “It’s been very similar to this year, but I’ve won more than I did in 2020 and had more success. It’s like, ‘Wow, what could I accomplish this year?’ It’s an awesome feeling. All the time I think about that year, and I feel like it’s happening this year and even more in some ways because I’m so much more mature than I was in 2020 and have such better horses than I did.”

It makes perfect sense why Mayfield would decide to tough out his major injury, despite practically being one more big win away from having the NFR locked just three months into the season with over $95,000 won on the year. (In 2023, Tuf Cooper made the NFR in the No. 15 spot with $114,326.)

“I could sit out the rest of the year and still make the NFR, but this is my job, this is my life and I love to do it,” Mayfield said. “I’m not going to slow down, especially with the goal that I have this year, chasing the earnings record. I can’t sit around and wait for that to happen.”

Mayfield will rope at The American Rodeo next, followed by RodeoHouston.