Congratulations to the Whatakid of the month, Mayce Marek! This eighteen-year-old senior is a superstar in the arena. She previously competed in speed events but after losing a barrel horse to colic, she began working on roping and goat tying. It was a struggle at first but Mayce loved horses and rodeo so she wasn’t going to give up. She started to work at it and eventually fell in love with roping and goat tying, which is what she currently competes in. “Even though I couldn’t run barrels at the level I wanted to any more, I didn’t want to give up rodeo, so I found other events to get good at. It was a blessing in disguise because it opened many doors and I discovered something new that I fell in love with,” Mayce said. “I’m a firm believer that sometimes God says no to majority of your plans because His are far greater.”
She has multiple different horses but there is one that really stands out to her. His name is Lucky and lucky he sure is. They bought him when Mayce was 11 so the pair has grown up together. “He’s what I started out tying goats on and is still my A-team today,” Mayce said. She also ropes breakaway on him.
Not only has Lucky carried Mayce to multiple titles, he has also carried a few of her friends as well. “In the rodeo world, the family and friends you develop are as true as they come, and borrowing a horse is common due to all the unexpected circumstances we face daily,” Mayce said. “I was thrilled to help make my friends goals possible through a horse I had trained. That was a proud moment for me.” Mayce explained that she wouldn’t be the competitor she is today without Lucky and his faithfulness.
Mayce has been around horses since she was born and has been competing in rodeo since age five. Her list of awards is extensive but even though she has won multiple buckles and saddles, “the memories of each rodeo that are behind each of them are what means the most to me,” Mayce said. Her most recent accomplishment was winning the girls All-Around at the San Antonio Youth Rodeo.
For Mayce, rodeo isn’t just a sport or a hobby; it is a completely different way of life. The friends that she has me along the way are unbeatable. “Something that you don’t find anywhere else is this: we are all competing but it’s an awesome feeling when my competition is standing beside me in the box, pushing my calf, holding a video camera or contributing in some form or fashion to my run,” Mayce said. “Rodeo is what I absolutely love to do and the unconditional love and support that I receive from my friends that are also my competition makes it that much better.”
Not only does Mayce rodeo, she also played volleyball, basketball and ran track at Jourdanton High School. Although all these activities got crazy some days, she believes that the athletic ability she developed though sports has made her into the goat tier she is today. Mayce also takes her academics very seriously. While she is currently finishing high school online, she was an honor roll student, as well as a member of student council, all through junior high and high school. She also served as a class representative her freshman and sophomore year.
When she has some free time, Mayce enjoys helping out other girls with their goat tying. “This sport has carried me so far and I love being able to share my knowledge with others who love it as much as I do and share the same goals,” Mayce said. Now if she isn’t in the arena, which is very slim, Mayce enjoys going to the lake with her friends and family. Her and her cousins love to waterski, wakeboard, and wake surf, as well as are always up for a reckless tube ride. She also enjoys snowboarding, snow skiing, hunting and fishing.
A verse that has really helped and guided Mayce throughout her life is Proverbs 3:5-6, “With all your heart you must trust in the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.” When expectation got the best of her freshman year and Mayce found herself in a slump, referring back to this verse brought her hunger for rodeo back and pulled her through her slump. “This verse always came to mind and guided me,” Mayce said. “It kept me straight and helped me remember why I do what I do.”
Jackie Crawford is someone Mayce really looks up to. “She is the definition of hard work, determination and woman power. She displays everything that I desire to be one day in and out of the arena,” Mayce said.
In the future, Mayce plans to attend Wharton Junior College on a full ride rodeo scholarship where she will major in business and minor in physical therapy. After college, she would one day like to run a facility that provides equine therapy for children with disabilities.
“I am very honored to be chosen. It is awesome to see how rewarding things are even when you think no one is paying attention,” Mayce said. She is proud to be this month’s Whatakid!