GUYMON, Okla. – Kasey Hayes loves riding bulls and competing at a high level, but bigger things have happened in his life recently.
His wife gave birth to their second child on June 17, so it’s been a little hectic around their Liberal, Kan., home. Still he has big plans to be in Texas County later this month to defend his title at the Kasey Hayes & Stormy Wing Invitational PBR Touring Pro event, set for 8 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena in Guymon. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate; children 5 and younger are free.
A year ago, Hayes utilized the victory near his hometown to secure his eighth qualification to the PBR World Finals. He will have a “meeting of the minds” with his good friend in Wing to be part of one of the best minor league events in the association each year.
“Last year’s event in Guymon turned out really good,” said Wing, a six-time world finals qualifier from Dalhart, Texas. “We’ve got an exceptional group of people from around that area that do all the work. Kasey and his wife just had their second son and I have a lot going on, so we’ve been running around; they’ve all been getting it tended to.”
While a local committee of dedicated volunteers handles the bulk of the load, Hayes and Wing provide the PBR star power. It’s the closest event to their homes the two cowboys compete in all year, so being part of the program is important to them.
“Just to be able to have it is a blessing,” Wing said. “If you’re going to do something, you want to do it right.”
Wing and Hayes are proud of their event, and they understand it takes many people and many personalities to make it happen.
“If you’re going to have a rank bull riding like we did last year, then I don’t see why we couldn’t be one of the best,” Wing said. “The other bull riders like what we have in bringing in the stock and the hospitality we provide.
“The people around there are amazing. You’ve got good bulls and good prize money, then you’re going to bring the guys to your event.”
Take a year ago as an example. Eighteen of the top 25 bull riders in the PBR world standings were part of the competition inside Hitch Arena. The buzz has been getting around the bull-riding world that a great event takes place in the Oklahoma Panhandle every July.
“H.D. Page has been the stock contractor of the year, and he will bring good bulls,” Wing said. “It’s a good atmosphere; the Built Ford Tough events (the PBR’s premier tour) are all indoor events. They’re great, but I think when the summer comes, the guys like getting outdoors a bit.
“When you see that arena packed like it’s been the last two years, it’s hard not to get excited.”
Fans have learned to expect great things at Guymon’s PBR event. Meanwhile, Wing wants to add his name to the list of champions.
“I ride bulls because I love it and because God gave me the opportunity,” he said. “It’s a fight between me and the bull, and I want to win.”