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 Muhammad Ali'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.