LOVINGTON, N.M. – Gold rests deep in the mountains of Utah and seems to flow through the blood of the Feild family from the central part of the state.
Kaycee Feild is carrying on a family tradition first established by his father, Lewis, three decades ago. Together they own nine world championship gold buckles – Lewis is a three-time all-around and two-time bareback riding champ, and Kaycee is the reigning four-time world champion bareback rider.
On Wednesday night, Kaycee Feild rode Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Night Bells for 86 points to take the early bareback riding lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.
“That horse is awesome,” said Feild, who has earned more than $1.6 million in his storied career. “I’ve seen him a handful of times the last couple of years, and he’s the kind you just dream about getting on.”
It’s true. Night Bells has been selected to buck at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo each of the last six years, often in what’s known as the TV pen – the fifth and 10th rounds, which feature the 15 most dynamic horses in the sport.
“He’s very electric, a lot like Dirty Jacket,” Feild said, referring to the reigning Bareback Horse of the Year that is also part of the Pete Carr firm and a half-brother to Night Bells. “They both start the same with a big rare and hop out of (the chute) and land on all fours. Once you set your feet (above the horse’s shoulders), I’ve never felt anything like those two horses. They’re pretty unreal and athletic to do that right there.
“Those two horses are a breed of their own. Cowboys love to get on those two dang horses. You get done and you wonder if he even bucked, and then you see the video, and he’s three feet off the ground on the front end and kicking over his head. He’s just a dream horse.”
That kind of animal athlete allows bareback riders to show their spurring style, and Feild is well known for his. Rides like the one he put on Wednesday night showcased his ability.
“He’s the kind of horse that’s not real rank where they yank on you and cross your eyes or whack you in the back of the head,” the cowboy said. “He gets in the air and lets you show off.”
The ride marked the second time in a year and a half that Feild and Night Bells have been matched; the previous outing in Fort Worth, Texas, resulted in an 89-point ride. The ride in southeastern New Mexico might be just as important for Feild.
“I like to get on good horses and bucking horses that test my skills all the time,” he said. “When Pete Carr puts these good horses out at a rodeo of this caliber, it’s pretty dumb as a professional rodeo cowboy to not enter and come to this one.”
Feild sits ninth in the world standings with nearly $58,000 in earnings – in rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestants in each discipline who finish the season with the most money are crowned world champions.
“It’s real important to do well here,” he said. “It’s a tour rodeo, and you can get a big bonus at the end. It’s important to rodeo smart and hit tour rodeos like this one. This year I had a surgery and had to take a few months off. To come here and do good with the money that’s added here and the horses that are here, I’m as excited as could be.”
Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Kaycee Feild, 86 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Night Bells; 2. Tyler Scales, 82; 3. Richmond Champion, 75; 4. Wyatt Denny, 74; 5. Kenny Haworth, 70; 6. (tie) Kyle Charley and Mason Clements, 68; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Wade Sumpter, 3.9 seconds; 2. Seth Brockman, 4.1; 3. (tie) Trevor Knowles and Tyler McCormick, 4.2; 5. Clayton Hass, 4.4; 6. (tie) Cole Fulton and Billy Bugenig, 4.5; 8. Dakota Eldridge, 4.7. Second round leaders: 1. Dakota Eldridge, 4.0 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 4.2; 3. Billy Bugenig, 4.3; 4. Trevor Knowles, 4.4; 5. Seth Brockman, 4.5; 6. Blake Knowles, 5.2; 7. Wade Supter, 5.9; Sterling Lambert, 14.0. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Seth Brockman and Trevor Knowles, 8.6 seconds on two runs; 3. Dakota Eldridge, 8.7; 4. Billy Bugenig, 8.8; 5. Wade Suptmer, 9.8; 6. Sterling Lambert, 19.4; 7. Trell Etbauer, 20.0; 8. Tyler McCormick, 4.2.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Riley Pruitt, 8.2 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 10.0; 3. Trevor Brazile, 10.3; 4. Jerrad Hofstetter, 10.4; 5. Quay Howard, 10.7; 6. Todd Saulsberry, 11.2; 7. Joeseph Gernentz, 11.5; 8. Chase Williams, 11.7. Second round leaders: 1. Timber Moore, 9.6 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 15.5; 3. Clint Cooper, 17.3; 4. Cliff Kirkpatrick, 21.1; 5. Joseph Gernentz, 21.3; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Trell Etbauer, 25.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Timber Moore, 26.6; 3. Clint Cooper, 30.7; 4. Joseph Gernentz, 32.8; 5. Cliff Kirkpatrick, 33.2; 6. Riley Pruitt, 8.2 seconds on one run; 7. Trevor Brazile, 10.3; 8. Jerrad Hofstetter, 10.4.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Isaac Diaz, 83 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Yatahee; 2. Allen Boore, 92; 3. Tyrel Larsen, 81; 4. (tie) Clay Elliott and Zeke Thurston, 75; 6. Dawson Byrne, 73; 7. Taos Muncy, 71; 8. Travis Sheets, 65.
Steer roping: Third round leaders: 1. Shay Good, 10.1 seconds; 2. Chet Herren, 12.1; 3. JoJo LeMond, 12.5; 4. (tie) Neal Wood and Guy Allen, 12.6; 6. Brodie Poppino, 14.6. Average leaders: 1. Chet Herren, 44.3 seconds on three runs; 2. Kim Ziegelgruber, 47.9; 3. Ralph Williams, 53; 4. J.P. Wickett, 25.2 seconds on two runs; 5. Bryce Davis, 25.3; 6. Chance Kelton, 26.6; 7. Trey Wallace, 29.2; 8. Trevor Brazile, 29.6.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.9 seconds; 2. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo and Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 6.8; 4. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 7.2; 5. (tie) Billy Bob Brown/Garrett Jess and Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 10.8; 7. Kory Bramwell/Cole Jackson, 15.5; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.7 seconds; 2. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.8; 3. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 5.1; 4. Miles Baker/Austin Rogers, 9.9; 5. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 11.1; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 15.9; 3. Matt Sherwood, 17.9; 4. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.7 seconds on one run; 5. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 6.8; 6. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 7.2; no other qualified times.
Barrel racing leaders: 1. Jessica Frost, 17.74 seconds; 2. Michelle Lummus, 17.87; 3. Paige Conrado, 17.91; 4. Kenna Squires, 17.95; 5. Ivy Conrado, 18.12; 6. Calyssa Thomas, 18.63; 7. Fonda Galbreath, 20.37; 8. Sydni Blanchard, 23.16.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Sage Kimzey, 84 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Fireball; 2. Casey Huckabee, 82; 3. Corey Granger, 78; 4. Tanner Learmont, 75; no other qualified rides.