LOVINGTON, N.M. – Kaycee Feild is just 25 years old, but he’s already established as one of the very best bareback riders in ProRodeo.
Already he’s a world champion, having won the title a season ago. He’s qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo four times, and in the last nine months, he’s won four of the most prestigious titles in the sport – the NFR average, the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo, RodeoHouston and the Calgary (Alberta) Stampede.
He added the Lea County Fair and Rodeo title to his resume last week, matching moves with another great world champion in Carr Pro Rodeo’s Real Deal, the 2005 Bareback Riding Horse of the Year. In doing so, Feild made quite a statement, posting 89 points to win the title and a $4,496 paycheck.
“That’s what I ride bucking horses for is to get on the rankest, baddest horses,” Feild said, acknowledging that Real Deal has quite a reputation, one that has him as part of the eliminator group of broncs at the NFR every December. “I can prove, not only to my friends but also to myself, that I can spur anything and that I can spur the bad ones.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster when you can get on a bad one and spur him every jump.”
It helped quite a bit that Real Deal was quite exceptional inside Jake McClure Arena.
“I knew that horse had a different move around the post (of the chute), but I wasn’t expecting it four times,” Feild said of how many times the powerful 12-year-old bay gelding changed leads during the eight-second ride. “It sure was fun. I really couldn’t just sit down the first two or three jumps. It took me that long to extend my spur stroke.”
How tough was the bareback riding? Feild’s 89 was just one point better than that of fellow NFR qualifiers Dusty LaValley and Matt Bright. LaValley spurred Carr’s Black Coffee and Bright handled Carr’s Island Girl for the 88-point second-place rides on the final night of competition; they won $2,997 each.
Travis Sheets wasn’t quite that many points, but his 85-point ride on Carr’s True Lies was good enough to win saddle bronc riding in Lovington. For that feat, Sheets pocketed $4,190.
“I’ve seen him a couple of times, and I’ve heard good stories about him,” said Sheets, of Hyannis, Neb. “I was pretty excited to have him.”
Sheets was just a point better than two cowboys who finished in a tie for second place; Troy Crowser rode Carr’s Cool Runnings, while Chuck Schmidt and Carr’s Miss Congeniality danced across the arena dirt. Crowser and Schmidt earned $2,793 each. But the week belonged to Sheets, who posted the winning ride during the rodeo’s opening performance on Aug. 8; True Lies also bucked on Aug. 10 and led Curtis Garton to 81 points, good enough to finish in a three-way tie for fifth place.
“That horse felt really good,” he said. “He just feels like a million dollars. I’d like to haul him in the trailer with me and get on him everywhere I go.”