Kaycee Feild passes his dad with his fourth straight bareback riding crown

By Ed Knocke – The 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo came to a close last Saturday, finishing off a successful run after three decades of competition in Las Vegas.

Ironically, it was a cowboy named Feild who dominated the action at the Thomas & Mack Center during the last 10 days. In 1985, when the event first moved to Las Vegas from Oklahoma City, Lewis Field won the first of his three all-around world titles.

This year, his son, Kaycee, won his fourth straight bareback riding world title, doing his father one better. He also became only the second man ever to win four consecutive average crowns, joining team roper Leo Camarillo (1968 to 1971).

The 27-year-old Feild finished off the 10-day NFR by placing second on the final night with an 85.5-point ride aboard J Bar J’s Dirty Rags. That performance gave him 818.5 points on 10 head.

Feild had been feeling quite a bit of pressure from world runner-up Austin Foss the last few days before he accomplished the successful ride aboard Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet’s Web.

He earned $294,979 this year, including $122,596 at the NFR. He is one shy of the most bareback riding titles, a feat shared by Joe Alexander and Bruce Ford, both Hall of Famers.

“I’m a blessed young man, just to stay healthy for four years and have so much success,’’ he said. “Vegas has been very good to me. I’ve had a lot of luck and I draw good.’’

“It’s amazing to be mentioned with Joe Alexander and Bruce Ford, and Bobby Mote and Will Lowe,’’ he said. “But I want to keep going and win more. I’m still young and I want to win six gold buckles. Each one gets better for me. I want to break records and I want to set my own records.’’

He said he was nervous before the ninth round. “I wondered if I would draw good enough, or ride good enough,’’ he said. “It all worked out. To feel as healthy in the ninth and 10th rounds as I did in the first round felt really good.

“It was really important to achieve my goals I set at the first of the year. I set my goals higher and higher each year and it’s great when I can achieve them. It makes me more excited for next year.

“Winning rounds here in front of 18,000 people is sweet. Taking a victory lap and hearing them all scream is fun. But when you set you gear down back there with the top 15 in the world, you know anybody can take advantage like I did. So it’s important to stay focused and take care of business.’’

He’s looking for even more success in the future.

“I want to win seven world titles,’’ he proclaimed. “In my mind, Joe Alexander could’ve won seven straight; he won five and could’ve won the next two based on how much he won for the year, but they decided the world champ those two years were based on who won the NFR average title, so he didn’t win the gold buckle. I my eyes, he’s the best bareback rider of all time.’’

Meanwhile, his father , who also won two bareback riding world titles in 1985 and 1986, said it gave him great joy to watch his son perform.

“When you own kid reaches that pinnacle, it takes it to a whole new level,’’ he said. “People come up to me and start to say, ‘I think he’s better,’ then they feel like they’re going to insult me. But that’s the greatest compliment I could have. And he is better than me. His riding has far surpassed mine.’’

Field, who credits his father with a lot of his success, also credits the U.S. soldiers he visited last year as part of the Wrangler Patriot Tour. Field has visited troops stationed in the Middle East and elsewhere since 2010.

“I credit those guys a lot to my career success I’ve had,’’ he said. “As soon as I went over there, I went from being a boy to a man really quick, seeing what those guys go through. It made rodeo a lot easier for me.’’

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