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Even the two-time world bareback champion needs a little help from his horse.
Kaycee Feild of Payson relearned that lesson during the second performance of the Days of '47 Rodeo on Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Riding a horse named Fred, who was more interested in running than bucking, Feild completed his eight-second ride but received a score of only 78 points. He finished fourth in the go-around and won't cash a Days of '47 check.
Before his ride, Feild knew he faced an uphill battle, given the draw. But he wanted to support one of Utah's biggest rodeos, which has bumped its prize money this year in an attempt to lure more top competitors.
"I knew what horse I had," Feild said. "But you just have to keep a positive attitude and try to win, no matter what."
Even with his chances compromised by his draw something that often makes cowboys skip a rodeo Feild showed up.
"Salt Lake and the Days of '47 have done a tremendous job," he said. "What they're trying to do here is awesome. It's great for our sport. It'll be fun to see where this rodeo goes the next couple of years."
Another factor in Feild's decision to compete: the presence of the Justin Sports Medicine team.
Feild has been nursing a pinched nerve in his back, which is impacting his ability to squeeze the horses he rides with his left leg. So he underwent 90 minutes of treatment before the rodeo.
"Those guys iced me down and rubbed me out pretty good," Feild said. "They took good care of me. Hopefully, I'll be back to 100 percent in a few days."
Despite not placing at the Days of '47, Feild is making a run at another world championship.
He has already won in Fort Worth, San Antonio and Casper, Wyo., and sits atop the season-money list with earnings of $70,768. The top 15 in each event qualify for the National Finals Rodeo.
According to Feild, his goal is to keeping riding well in the top rodeos and be healthy for the National Finals in December.
"These rodeos now, it's not necessarily practice for the NFR, but it feels like that," Feild said. "They get us ready for the biggest show in our sport. That's where you make money. If you want to put money in the bank for your savings, you do that at the National Finals."
Jessy Davis, a former Utahn now living in Power, Mont., won the bareback during the second performance with a score of 84.
Tyler Scales of Severance, Colo., did not score after being thrown and kicked in the head by his horse. He suffered a 40-stitch laceration.
"I was riding normal and my hand just came out of my rigging," Scales said. "It just came out and he bucked me off."
If you go
O What • Days of '47 Rodeo
Where • EnergySolutionsArena
Days • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
Time • 6:30 p.m.
Tickets • ESA box office, Smith's Tix
INSIDE • For Saturday's results, see Page C8.