LAS VEGAS – When one is raised by a rodeo legend, it’s really hard to not follow in his footsteps.
Rod Hay competed in ProRodeo for more than two decades. The 1989 Resistol Rookie of the Year, he qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 20 times, the last coming in 2010. In his native Alberta, and across much of North America, he is a true legend.
Logan Hay is the oldest of three sons, and he’s competing at the NFR for the first time. He’s not only riding broncs in Las Vegas, he’s riding them well. He’s ridden all seven broncs so far and has placed five times; that includes three straight go-round victories on Nights 5, 6 and 7.
“I never expected my first NFR to go like this,” said Logan Hay, 25, of Wildwood, Alberta. “I go from winning my first round to three in a row. It is unbelievable.”
His third straight trip to the South Point Hotel and Casino to pick up his go-round buckle came after a 90-point ride on Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Garden City Gal. He was 87.5 to win Round 6 on Frontier Rodeo’s Yellowstone, and he scored 89 points to win the fifth round on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Larry Culpepper.
Through all that, he has earned nearly $122,000 riding bucking horses for eight seconds at a time.
“I’m drawing really great horses, and I’m riding good, too,” said Hay, whose younger brother, Dawson, is also in the mix at the NFR. “I just want to keep doing everything like I have been and just taking it one horse at a time. I’m not going to look at anything else, just at the horse that I have that day.”
He’s building on something, and it may pay off rather well at the end. While his father had a story career, Rod Hay never won a world championship. He earned eight Canadian titles and won the prestigious Calgary Stampede four times.
Logan Hay earned his first this past summer, and he’s maintaining that momentum over 10 December nights. He is second in the average race with 603.5 points on seven rides and has pushed his season earnings to more than $260,000.
“It just breeds confidence and definitely helps to get on a roll like that,” Logan Hay said. “When you get on a roll in bronc riding, you feel very confident when you’re getting on, and that is a huge thing. It’s such a mental game. You are only out there for eight seconds, no mistakes to make, so when you’re getting on confident, you’re riding really good at that time. That is the best thing in the world.”