We haven’t had a CLN Insider in quite some time, we are excited to kick off a piece with the one and only Kaycee Feild. With him gearing up for the National Finals Rodeo, we were lucky enough to snag a few minutes of his time to catch up with him and see how he is getting ready. Hope you enjoy it!
CLN: Can you give our audience a little bit of background on how you started riding broncs?
Kaycee: I grew up in it and watched my dad do it. My dad was my hero. He would bring his traveling partners and rodeo buddies around the house quite often and they were all winners and champions. I was automatically attracted to their attitude and how they carried themselves. Being a rough stock cowboy, bareback rider, it’s rough and it’s tough and it’s painful at times, but I wanted to be someone that could push aside the pain and even when things pull you in the wrong direction, you can still achieve your goals. That was what I wanted to become. Bareback riding kind of fell in my lap but truthfully, I like to push my body, I like to do adrenaline junkie things like skydiving, snowmobiling, and dirt biking. At the end of the day, I like to kind of scare and push myself. Bareback riding is still a question every time that I nod my head. The anticipation of that horse leaving the bucking chute never gets old and that’s one of several reasons why I chose bareback riding, why I love to do it.
CLN: Bareback is one of the hardest events in rodeo, can you describe what it’s like when the chute gate opens?
Kaycee: It changes every time. There are days where it feels like you can chew bubble gum, blow bubbles, wave at the crowd, and it’s not rough at all. Then there are some days where eight seconds feels like two years and you get off and feel like you’ve been hit by a bus. But the thought for every ride is “Bring it on, let’s do this. The horse is bucking, let me show you what I got. I can turn my toes. I can tuck my chin. I’ll make this look cool.”
CLN: Was there ever a time you wanted to do any other event in rodeo?
Kaycee: You know, I roped a lot and still do quite a bit. I tried saddle bronc riding but it just wasn’t my deal at all, it didn’t fit me at the time when I was learning. Early on I rode Jr. steers and Jr. bulls and was decent at it, could compete with the best but I was terrified of bulls and I didn’t enjoy getting on them. When you’re going to nod your head on an animal like that and you lack confidence, you’re going to get defeated.
CLN: What was an event that changed the course of your career?
Kaycee: The year I won RFD-TV’s The American was the first time I won a half-million bucks. It was impactful because of where I was at in life. I just lost my father and was balancing life with my career at the time. That win paired with the horse that I drew and the people that were there, was what helped me grab the second gear in my career. That’s when I really had to start digging down and start figuring out what I really wanted from this from the sport. And you know, I’ve had a lot of other significant wins and life-changing wins but The American truly changed the course of my career. The event truly stepped up to the plate and provided an opportunity for rodeo athletes to compete on a level playing field. In my opinion, The American has done so much for the sport of rodeo.
Editor’s Note: The American Rodeo had its first event in 2014, making 2022 its 9th year. The American changed the trajectory of rodeo events across the country by shaking up the entry system. Half of the competitors were invited and half had to work through a series of qualifying events to make it to the million-dollar weekend. The American is said to be the “richest two-day rodeo” in existence. It truly provides life-changing opportunities for those that compete in it as we have seen above. Kaycee has won the American twice, both wins having a significant impact on his career.
CLN: You’re sitting at number 5 heading into the NFR, how have you been preparing for it?
Kaycee: The way I get ready for the NFR is the same every year, but the goals and things I focus on are what has changed. From here on out, it’s completely strengthening my mind, putting myself in every scenario in Las Vegas, the worst horses, the best horses, and then taking care of my body. I have to get my body ready for 10 days of bareback riding. If you’re not in perfect condition with your body, it’s a grueling 10 days. You’re pretty sore by performance 5 and 6 but then by performance 7, your body is acclimated and it’s go time.
CLN: What is the best advice you can give someone wanting to get into bareback riding?
Kaycee: Start the right way. It’s tough on your body as it is and if you don’t get on the right bucking horses for your caliber of riding, it’s gonna be a long hard road if you can stick it out, which is not a lot of people do. But if you start the right way, you’re going to start winning way faster and way sooner.
CLN: You’ve accomplished so much already in your career, what else are you hoping to achieve in the next 5 years?
Kaycee: I need to win two more world titles. One world title this year is my main goal and then I need to win Pendleton Round-Up and Cheyenne Frontier Days as I’ve never won those two rodeos.
Special thanks to Kaycee’s sponsors: Priefert, PWR Pro CBD, Ariat International, Polaris Off-Road, Frontier Roping Supply, Capri Camper, Resistol, Karl Malone Heber Dealership
CLN Community & Event Sponsor