50th Annual Pioneer Days Rodeo Highlights

pattern stories
Written by:
Ed Domain

Hometown Clovis Champion, Shad Mayfield

Shad is the 2020 PRCA World Champion, #2 in the world at tie down roping, and he also happens to be from Clovis. He shared how excited he was to be competing in front of a hometown crowd again.  “It feels great to be back.” “Anytime I get to compete in front of my community, it is extra special.”

After a two-year hiatus, the 50th Annual PRCA Pioneer Days Rodeo was recently held in Clovis, New Mexico,  and the entire town celebrated.

”“This 50th Annual Rodeo has been two years in the making, and we’re thrilled to have it back in our community,” Richard Hadley, head of the Mounted Patrol, who put on the event. 

The calm before all that dirt gets torn up!

History

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, or PRCA, is the governing body of the sport and oversees judging, scoring and determining who is on top of the leaderboard.

The PRCA got started in 1936 after cowboys walked out of a rodeo held at Madison Square Garden in protest when the promoter of the event refused to add the cowboys’ entry fees to the total purse. (Also with them was a nationally famous four-time national bronc champion, Alice Greenbough Orr, who is known as, “hands down the first rodeo queen.”) The cowboys eventually got their way, and formed the Cowboys’ Turtle Association. The name came from the behavior of the cowboys; like turtles, they  were slow to organize but weren’t afraid to stick their necks out once they had.

In 1945, the organization changed its name to the Rodeo Cowboys Association, and in 1975 changed to its current title, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. 

Cowboy Tyler, getting ready to compete

Cowboys and a World Champion in Clovis

While touring the event center I had an opportunity to talk with some of the cowboys before they entered the arena to compete, including hometown favorite, Shad Mayfield. 

All of them were friendly, excited to be competing, and really excited the Pioneer Days Rodeo was back in Clovis. As I spoke with the guys, they all had great things to say about Clovis and were eager to get into the arena. 

I had been wandering from horse trailer to horse trailer, and then a couple guys pointed towards a cowboy in a red shirt, brushing down his horse. “Talk to him,” one of them said with a smile, “he’s famous.”

Curious, I walked over to the cowboy, who then turned to greet me with a smile and said, “Hi, I’m Shad Mayfield.” (If you look at the picture above closely, you’ll notice he still has his horse brush in his hand).

Shad is the 2020 PRCA World Champion, #2 in the world at tie down roping, and he also happens to be from Clovis. He and I got to talking for a bit, and he shared how excited he was to be competing in front of a hometown crowd again.  “It feels great to be back,” he told me enthusiastically. “Anytime I get to compete in front of my community, it is extra special.”

We didn’t have long to chat as he was going to be competing soon. We walked back to where his horse was, and he offered me a friendly piece of advice. “Maybe don’t stand where you are,” he said helpfully, “you might get kicked.” and then I realized I was standing right behind his horse.

I moved, we both laughed, and his horse even turned his head to give me a look that said, “Good idea.”

As I left the cowboys and their trailers, the sun was moving lower in the sky, and the arena was getting loud.

It was time for the rodeo!

Take a look at this video to meet some of the cowboys, and see some of the action! Are you a rodeo fan? Let us know in the comments!

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