Her name identifies an industry. Say "Charmayne" and it's like dropping Babe Ruth's moniker or Michael Jordon's or Lance Armstrong's. People who don't even follow the sport know that Charmayne James is the greatest barrel racer of all time.
She burst on to the professional rodeo scene in 1984, winning the first of eleven world championships before her fifteenth birthday. In the next nineteen consecutive years, she qualified for every National Finals Rodeo and became the most decorated female equine athlete of all time.
Although in the beginning she was discounted as just another kid with a great horse, rodeo fans around the world soon realized that this rider had something extra. She had trained Scamper herself, and had actually trained her prior mount, one she earned over $20,000 on before switching to Scamper.
And she never stopped learning. Absorbing knowledge like a sponge, Charmayne has worked with trainers, equine health professionals, nutritionists, and other experts to always be on the leading edge of competition-based horse care.
In a world where longevity is measured more in months than years, she kept Scamper sound and winning in world class competition an incredible ten years--over three times as long as the industry average.
Charmayne retired from rodeo competition in 2003, and began to devote herself to training horses and riders with the same single-minded determination that earned her over $2 million in the arena.
"The number one reason I am so passionate about writing this book is to let everyone know why I was so successful and hopefully help them along their own road to success," she says. "I won by following what I was always taught about my horses--treating them well, taking good care of them, making sure that I ride well enough so that they're never confused or hurt--and always keeping my focus on taking care of business."
This icon of women's rodeo reveals that she also won because, to keep going, she had to. "I didn't have a rich daddy or a big sponsor. I did have a horse I had faith in and parents that believed in me. They said we could keep going to the professional rodeos as long as we could pay our way."
"I knew that if I could be a good partner to Scamper, we could win. I had to believe in myself and stay true to what I knew worked for me, even when it was new and intimidating to compete against people who had been there longer and won more. Once I learned to do that, we began to be successful."
She continues, "My lifelong passion for running barrels kept me studying and working to find ways to make it easier for my horses to win. In this book, I share what my years of experience have taught me."