Barrel Racing's Legendary Duo: Charmayne and Scamper

Monday, September 24, 2018 - 10:00am

BARREL RACING’S LEGENDARY DUO: charmayne and scamper

If you like a good challenge, try to name any rodeo duo with a better story than Scamper and Charmayne James. Of course, there have been many horses and riders who truly excel at their craft; but as far as a pair goes, Charmayne and Scamper are the pinnacle of success.


Discovering a Friend

Most stars either breed their own horses or acquire reputable foals, but Charmayne came by Scamper in a different way.

Instead of a trained racehorse, Charmayne’s father found a barn horse on a neighbor’s farm. Scamper had traded hands many times due to his propensity towards bucking owners right into the hospital. At only 9 years old, and against the warnings of her parents, Charmayne climbed onto Scamper’s back to test him out. Although he bucked a little bit, it wasn’t enough to throw Charmayne off. And that’s when she knew he was going to be her horse.

The Makings of a Champion

From the very beginning, Scamper had a soft spot in his heart for Charmayne. They trained together every day and immediately began wiping out the competition. At the amateur rodeos, other competitors actually accused the James family of paying off the flagger to report a lower time. Of course, there was no cheating involved, just an extremely talented duo. The James family began receiving calls from the parents of other young riders asking if they could purchase Scamper for their own daughters. Charmayne informed all of them that Scamper was not for sale.

At age 14 Charmayne went pro and Scamper was right there with her. He seemed protective of her, always looking out to make sure she was safe. At a competition in Walla Walla, Washington, Scamper slid into a fence as he exited the course, pinning Charmayne beneath him. What could have been a dangerous situation remained stable due to the level-headedness of Scamper, who recognized that moving could injure Charmayne, so rather than harming her, he remained still until help could arrive.

And then there’s one of the most unforgettable moments in barrel racing history: Charmayne’s run on the seventh night of the 1985 NFR barrel racing competition. Scamper’s bridle came off in the middle of the run, but he kept going and turned the last barrel with no bridle. Not only did he finish the run, but they came in 1st place, earning Charmayne and Scamper another championship title. Such a feat is astounding! Horses simply don’t finish a race without guidance from the rider, but Scamper cared for Charmayne and the event so much that he was able to do the impossible.

Charmayne James is the inspiration for so many little girls who want to be a part of the barrel racing world. Her influence has shaped the current generation of riders and will continue to do so for many more generations to come, but none of it would have been possible without the dedication and passion of her teammate Scamper.

What Charmayne and Scamper accomplished together is the stuff of legend, but many other rising competitors are vying to create legacies of their own, and many of them will be competing for victory at the 2018 NBHA World Championships Oct 29th - Nov 3rd in Perry, GA. RIDE TV GO is happy to be hosting EXCLUSIVE coverage of this exciting event. You can visit RIDETVGO.COM to make sure you don’t miss the next unforgettable barrel racing moment!


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