Broncin’ Baddies: Makenzie Mayes and Chicado Moon Bank $11K and Multiple WRWC Titles in Fort Worth

Makenzie Mayes fought through "Rousey's" quirks to become one of the most talked about WCRA/WRWC teams of 2024.
Makenzie Mayes barrel racing
Makenzie Mayes and Rousey broke the Cowtown Coliseum arena record in the WRWC Semifinals. Image courtesy WRWC by Bull Stock Media.

Makenzie Mayes wrapped a stellar week of barrel racing up inside Cowtown Coliseum on May 15, but her barrel racing journey is just beginning aboard Chicado Moon at the Women’s Rodeo World Championship and beyond.

At just 20 years old, Makenzie Mayes—granddaughter of NFR barrel racing qualifier Nancy Mayes and daughter of NFR tie-down roper Jim Bob Mayes—shook up the Challenger division at WRWC 2024. Now she’s preparing for the biggest stage of her budding barrel racing career: AT&T Stadium, where she’ll compete in both the inaugural Kid Rock Rock N Rodeo and the Championship Round of the Women’s Rodeo World Championships on May 19.

“This is such an amazing opportunity,” Mayes said. “It’s a whole new game. It’s going to be so much fun.”

Makenzie Mayes' Chicado Moon.

Mayes’ stellar week kicked off with a 13.677-second run in Round 1 at Cowtown Coliseum on May 13. The time put her outside of the money, but she was just getting warmed up. Mayes and “Rousey,” a 2018 mare by Guys Canyon Moon and out of standout mare, Chicados Bully by Chicados Cash were 13.286 seconds during Round 2 of competition, earning the $2,500 Round win. Mayes got a few staps past her first barrel in the run, but Rousey’s aggressive style helped counter the bobble.

“She just stays moving,” Mayes said. “Rousey’s so fast and it’s crazy. She loves running barrels and picked up the rodeos so quickly. She’s just gritty—pins her ears in the alleyway, goes in and makes it easy.”

Leading the aggregate into the Semifinals Round, Mayes cracked out as the first contestant on May 15 and shocked the early-morning crowd with a 12.946-second run. That puts Mayes as the unofficial arena record holder, besting Laura Mote’s 12.960 aboard Reb Hot Redbull at the 2023 WRWC.


The run you’ve all been asking for…. Makenzie Mayes and Chicado Moon unofficially broke the Cowtown Coliseum arena record in 12.946 seconds en route to clinching the Semifinals and aggregate wins at the @Women’s Rodeo Championship in 2024 and kept herself in the running for a $60,000 payday in the barrel racing. Link in bio for results, plus stay tuned for a full write-up on this team’s stellar week so far. #Rodeo #Cowgirl #FortWorth #GuysCanyonMoon #MakenzieMayes

♬ son original – djladystyle

“She usually walks down the alleyway, but she took off halfway down and I was not ready,” Mayes said, laughing. “She popped me out of the saddle, so I went into the first barrel without my right stirrup. I ended up getting it back, but then I lost the other one at the second barrel. But it was a fun run.”

Mayes pocketed $1,000 for the Semifinals victory, plus $2,900 for the aggregate win, bringing her 2024 WRWC earnings to a total of $6,400 so far.

That performance on three runs also helped her clinch the top position for the 2024 season in the Women’s Rodeo Championship leaderboard, earning her the title of Challenger World Champion and a bonus of $5,000.

Mayes’ consistency at Rodeo Corpus Christi on May 9-13, combined with her WRWC efforts have made Rousey and Mayes a major team to watch in 2024, but Mayes shared that the narrative was opposite just one year prior in 2023.

“About this time last year I was at the Josey Reunion and Rousey bucked me off right in the middle of the pattern,” Mayes said. “That’s really why I ended up with her—my aunt sent her to a family friend and she bucked her off and broke three of her ribs. So I got to take her. She’s bucked a lot of people off, but I’m thankful for her. It’s been all in God’s timing, and I think we were just meant to be.”

Makenzie Mayes gets bucked off Rousey
In 2023, Mayes found herself in the dirt at the Josey Reunion after Rousey bucked her off mid-run. Image courtesy Mayes.

Mayes’ aunt, Naoma LBarron purchased Rousey as a 3-year-old from Jolene Montgomery, but struggled with the broncy athlete. Mayes took the reins and set to working to make the outlaw a consistent barrel horse, despite ending up in the dirt multiple times. She started hauling locally in January 2023, then took to the rodeo trail that summer. That’s when the pieces started falling into place for the quick-footed mare.

“She just took to the rodeos so quickly,” Mayes said. “She just loves them, and loves the atmosphere of a performance. I can’t believe how far she’s come in the past few months. Even looking back over the past few months, she’s just getting consistent and seems like a completely different horse.”

This isn’t Mayes’ first taste of success on a major platform. Back in the days of the Elite Rodeo Association, or ERA, Mayes qualified to run at the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks when she was just 12 years old. Now, the Northeast Texas Community College business administration student is all grown up and stepping into the spotlight again.

Makenzie Mayes barrel racing at age 12
Makenzie Mayes, age 12 competing at the ERA World Finals. Image coutesy Mayes.

The Scroggins, Texas, cowgirl has been a fixture at WCRA and WRWC events for several years, and she’ll be looking to go against the qualifying Pro and Challenger barrel racers for a potential $60,000 payday inside AT&T on Saturday. Click here to get the WRWC scoop and see full results.