By: Julia Dondero
Marybeth Beam has been there since the beginning. She has competed throughout every World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) segment, becoming one of the top money earners– and she is only 19 years old. Growing up as a third-generation rancher, Beam’s roping experience stretches far beyond her years.
Beam has grown up roping calves and riding alongside her family, a practice that seems natural for the cowgirl who has spent her life helping her family on their cow/calf operation in the small East Texas town of Poetry.
From the age of five, Beam began climbing the youth ranks, eventually qualifying for her first Women’s Rodeo World Championship (WRWC) at 16. She was just barely old enough to drive herself to the richest women’s rodeo in history.
This event became a catalyst for the roper’s career. Since 2020, Beam has qualified for the WRWC, as well as many WCRA and WCRA Division Youth events. With years of high-caliber experience under her belt, Beam reflected on the impact these events have made on her young career.
“Entering my first WRWC at 16 as a challenger was really great for me,” said Beam. “Being able to compete on such a large stage, get my name out there, and compete against the best prepared me to rodeo professionally.”
While Beam was wrapping up her senior year of high school, she also embarked on her professional rodeo journey. As Beam concluded her Women’s Professional Rodeo Association rookie year, she reflected on this new career chapter. Beam explained the WCRA has grown her confidence, increased her monetary opportunities, and provided her with the first-class treatment of athletes.
“Competing at events like WCRA majors and the WRWC prepared me to rodeo professionally because I learned how to handle my nerves and adjust my roping to compete as an average and shoot-out roper,” explained Beam.
This professional rodeo experience also allowed Beam to nominate large rodeos and secure her spot in WCRA major events, like Rodeo Carolina. This past October Beam concluded Rodeo Carolina as the reserve champion breakaway roper, taking home nearly $6,000, boosting her WCRA career earnings to just over $33,000.
“Rodeo Carolina was my favorite. There was just something about it there [at the Tryon International Equestrian Center] that just felt magical. It was so exciting to compete against the best,” said Beam.
This financial boost has enabled the young roper to start her professional career on the right foot, providing copious opportunities from a young age. The native Texan also explained how the WCRA has impacted her success on a personal level.
“The WCRA has taken me in as a family. It truly feels like a supportive and welcoming atmosphere at every event and I feel blessed to be a part of it,” said Beam.
Looking forward, Beam prepared for the upcoming Stampede At The E event, where she looks to start the 2024 WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo series off in a bright way. This winter also marks an important milestone for the young cowgirl. A little over a year ago, Beam broke her hip bone in a ranching accident, landing her in a wheelchair for 12 weeks and threatening her career.
Beam expressed her gratitude to be back competing while also giving credit to her mother and grandparents for being in her corner in every situation. As the Stampede Agt The E rapidly approaches, Beam accredits her family and her infamous 19-year-old mount “Spike”– who may be better known for his past career as Tyler Wade’s NFR head horse, for supporting her career and supporting her to the level of roping she is at today.
“I feel very blessed to have my family and support system. I can’t wait to be back at the Lazy E Arena,” exclaimed Beam, who will enter the competition in fifth place on the points leaderboard.