Painting a brilliant picture

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Inside every artist are a set of eyes that see things differently, that view the world in different dimensions.

Inside every cowboy rests a powerful workmanlike nature and a task-driven demeanor.

For the most part, they are opposite personalities, but they are both the truthful passions of a man named Chance Hays. He is from Bristow, Okla., and has found a way to marry his passions together. He’s a roper and a Western artist who thrives at both.

He has qualified for the second time to compete at the International Finals Rodeo. He also created the artwork that stands as the IFR45 poster, a piece he made of Garrett Tribble, who has already clinched the bull riding world championship as a rookie.

This weekend, Hays has been busy. In addition to prepping for the championship event, he also has organized an event in Bristow to honor his late grandfather, Walter Neill Hays, who died Dec. 12 at age 79.

“He was just an inspiration as a person,” Hays said, noting that the Hays Family Invitational is a good place to tune-up for IFR tie-down ropers, breakaway ropers and steer wrestlers.

Hays is the 13th-ranked tie-down roper in the International Professional Rodeo Association heading into the finale, which takes place Friday-Sunday at Jim Norick State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.

He rode a young horse through much of the season while Superman recovered from an injury, but he will jump back on the 14-year-old dark chocolate gelding for the IFR and the 2015 regular season.

“I really want to make a run at that world title this year, and I think I have an opportunity now that I have my good horse back,” he said.

Hays wants to put together a painting he’ll refer to as “Gold Buckle.” He made need to find the right colors to make it sparkle, but he’s got the right brush strokes and passion to make it happen.


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