Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List


HomeCharmayne James

About Charmayne James

Charmayne Journey

At the young age of 14, Charmayne James earned the title of World Champion Barrel Racer. It was a title that she continued to hold for the next 10 years.

Her story begins in Clayton, New Mexico with little more than open spaces, practice barrels and a drive to succeed. Proving that with grit and determination anything is possible, the young barrel racer began her lifelong career filled with success at every turn.

Each of the consecutive ten titles was achieved with the same horse – Scamper. James became a member of the Women's Professional Rodeo Association in 1984, when she was awarded Rookie of the Year honors. She earned National Finals Rodeo qualifications for 19 consecutive years, also beginning in 1984, and was National Finals Rodeo Average Champion seven times. In 1992, James was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. With her horse, Cruiser, James won the 2002 WPRA World Championship, her 11th WPRA World Title. This legendary barrel racer and horsewoman has been heralded by professionals across the world as "one of the greatest horse people of all time."

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.

Her record speaks volumes. She's the all-time leading money earner in the sport - the first-ever million-dollar earner. She's won the most professional barrel racing world championships (11) and was the first Women's Professional Rodeo Association member to earn the coveted #1 back number at the National Finals Rodeo. She holds the record for most consecutive NFR qualifications (19) for men or women, and she's won more individual world championships than any other woman in professional sports. She's also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Charmayne conducts barrel racing clinics that are booked years in advance, and she's in demand as a speaker/clinician at horse expos and events worldwide. She's been featured in every major horse publication, as well as in Sports Illustrated, People Magazine, USA Today and others, and has appeared on "Good Morning America," the CBS "Morning Show," ABC "Wide World of Sports," and other major programs.

What is 11

For centuries, scholars have studied the number 11 and mystics have believed it to be a highly influential number. The thinking being that with 10 being perfect, 11 is the next step-up and beyond 'perfection'.

In Numerology - 11 represents impractical idealism, visionary, refinement of ideals, intuition, artistic and inventive genius, avant-garde, and fame and refinement.

As far as we're concerned, mystics and scholars can continue this debate and discussion. For rodeo fans the meaning of the number 11 is clear. The number 11 will always be associated with the image is of a 13 year old girl with a sweet smile and a fast horse that would later grow up to set world records and elevate a sport to new levels and be heralded as one of the greatest horse people of all time.

To Charmayne James, the number 11 is just a byproduct of a lifetime of perseverance and dedication. To her the number 11 is not associated with buckles, world records or hall of fame status. Instead, it is the end-result of long days of hard work and self-taught trial and error. Her talent, unbridled passion for the sport and 'never quit' attitude pushed her forward and into the hearts and minds of fans all over the world. Behind the glitz and the winners' circles, her career was mapped out by long trips on the road with little more than a trailer to call home and a rescued dog to keep her company. Encouraged by her family and friends, at an early age she went against mainstream practices, a decision which proved successful, and become a trailblazer, and advocate for putting horses first. This is and will no doubt be her legacy behind her fame.

Throughout her career, Charmaynes' devotion to her horses was evident. From training the legendary horse, Scamper, herself to bucking the system and seeking out alternative and holistic forms of caring for her horses, Charmayne set herself apart from competitors in more ways than just on the clock. When she felt like her horses were not getting the proper nutrition, she met with vets and created her own all-natural supplement years before supplements became popular. When a horse was struggling around the first turn, she refused traditional methods and sought out a more humane form of equine dentistry. This brilliance to think outside the box and seek answers from leading experts paired with her God-given abilities, fighting spirit and tough resolve lead her to the magical number 11, and current title of 11-Time World Champion, Barrel Racer.

More Videos

Barrel Racing Training
Martha Josey
Sherry Cervi