First person: Rodeo life

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Shelby Mayfield, 12, shown with her horse, Cream, was the top girls winner at the High Plains Junior Rodeo with five saddles.

Shelby Mayfield’s running out of room for her winnings.

Shelby, 12, and her brother Shad took home six saddles at this year’s High Plains Junior Rodeo. Shelby, who started rodeo in 2002, won five saddles, including the all-around and the finals all-around titles.

Living in Clovis: There’s a lot of friendly people in this town. In rodeo we have sponsors. There are a lot of sponsors that support rodeo in Clovis, and I’d like to thank all of them, too. It’s really expensive because the sponsors pay for the saddles and everything. For us, it costs a lot to travel and pay entry costs. Usually, my brother and I win it back, so it’s not much of a problem.

Starting young: I did the Little Buckaroo Rodeo for the first time when I was about 3 and my dad (former pro rodeoer Sylvester Mayfield) led me around the barrels.

I do barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and breakaway roping. I think barrel racing is my favorite. You get to go really fast, and it’s the first event I ever learned.

I have a lot of good friends, and I love the competition and I love to ride horses. It’s just what I really like to do. I hope to see myself doing it my whole life. I hope to pro rodeo after I graduate from college.

The High Plains Rodeo, I’ve been doing since I was about 7. That’s the one I’ve made the most friends and I know everyone. There are just a lot of good people.

This year: I won five saddles, the barrels saddle, the goat tying saddle, the breakaway roping saddle, the all-around saddle and the finals all-around saddle. I think I’ve won about eight (total) saddles. Besides the ones I do ride in, I just keep them on display in my room or the living room.

We really don’t win ribbons (in rodeo); it’s all saddles and money.

Outside the arena: I like volleyball and just spending time with my horses. I have Cream, Slim Jim, 45, Magic. Cream is my favorite. He’s always been my companion. I wanted to thank my brother Shad for letting me ride his horse, Judy, for the goat tying.

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Kevin Wilson