SALT LAKE CITY — Typically when Kaycee Feild competes, tunnel vision takes over.
He climbs into the bucking chute for his bareback ride and he cannot hear a thing. Not the announcer. Not the crowd.
But when the Spanish Fork cowboy is riding in a Utah rodeo, the noise of the fans breaks through.
"At these rodeos, about four or five seconds in, you can hear the crowd," he said Saturday night at the Days of '47 Rodeo at EnergySolutions Arena."There's a different feeling when you get to these rodeos. It's pretty neat."
That added energy helped Feild to an 84-point ride aboard Rio's Edge.
"I was expecting a little more," he said of the horse. "Horses are just like humans, they have bad days and good days. He was still good."
Feild's ride garnered the top score of the night and put him in a four-way tie for third place in the overall standings, a finish that afforded him a piece of the purse as well as helped his position in the world standings.
"The purse here is huge, so to come in here and place like I did, get a good check, it's important to distance myself from the guys who are trying to catch me," said Feild, the three-time defending world champion who is back to No. 1 in the standings with current earnings of $121,344. "I've got to keep on rodeoing hard all through the summer and have a good lead going into Vegas."
Some of the riders that competed alongside Feild on Saturday have also won their own golden buckles and are pushing him in those standings. The third-ranked rider, Steven Peebles (Redmond, Oregon), was second with an 83; fifth-ranked Bobby Mote (Culver, Oregon) had a 77; 10th-ranked Justin McDaniel (Porum, Oklahoma) scored a 70; and 13th-ranked Tilden Hooper (Carthage, Texas) finished with a 78.
"Justin McDaniel, he's been riding as good as when he won his world title in 2008; same thing with Bobby Mote, he's riding good; and then Tilden Hooper, he's riding better than he ever has" Feild said. "To come out here and beat them today is a good feeling. It gives me a lot of momentum. ... Just got to keep that positive attitude."
Feild now leaves Salt Lake City, returning to Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the event finale before moving on to a steady diet of rodeos in the next few weeks. For the local boy, the beatings and the long drives are just a piece of his passion.
"I work really hard at this, this is my passion," he said, "so for somebody to recognize it and to be rewarded for it, it's pretty good."
Following Feild's ride, two arena records were set. The first, a time of 6.6 seconds in the tie-down roping, was set by Tuf Cooper (Decatur, Texas), and the second, a time of 13.05 seconds in barrel racing, was set by local rider Nancy Hunter (Neola, Utah).
Steve Young (Goshen) and Olin Pulham (Heber) finished the night with the fastest time in team roping with five seconds. Saddle bronc rider Rusty Allen (Eagle Mountain) scored the top score on the night and overall with a 90. In the final event, Cody Campbell (Summerville, Oregon) earned the top score in bull riding with an 84, good for fourth overall.
Days of '47 Rodeo
Bareback Riding: 1. Winn Ratliff, 86 points on Diamond G Rodeo's Zion's Iron Age; 2. Caine Riddle, 85; 3. (tie) Will Lowe, Caleb Bennett, Kaycee Feild, and Tim O'Connell, 84 each.
Steer Wrestling: 1. Wyatt Smith, 3.6 seconds; 2. Beau Clark, 3.7; 3. Tommy Cook, 3.8; 4. (tie) Ty Erickson, Stan Branco, and Dakota Eldridge, 4.0 each.
Team Roping: 1. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 4.0 seconds; 2. (tie) Aaron Macy/Chad Williams, Nathan McWhorter/Cole Davison, Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn and Matt Sherwood/Dugan Kelly, 4.2 each; 6. (tie) Dustin Bird/Paul Eaves and Chad Masters/Clay O'Brien Cooper, 4.3 each.
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1. Rusty Allen, 90 points on Spring Planting; 2. Bradley Harter, 89; 3. Cody Wright, 88; 4. Taos Muncy, 87; 5. Heith DeMoss, 85; 6. Ryan Mackenzie, 83.
Tie-Down Roping: 1. Tuf Cooper, 6.6 seconds; 2. Jesse Clark, 6.9; 3. Monty Lewis, 7.2; 4. (tie) Shane Hanchey and Cade Swor, 7.3 each; 6. (tie) Jake Pratt, Cory Solomon, and Marshall Leonard, 7.4 each.
Barrel Racing: 1. Nancy Hunter, 13.05 seconds; 2. Laura Kennedy, 13.12; 3. Sammi Bessert, 13.20; 4. Brooke Rix, 13.24; 5. (tie) Fallon Taylor and Carley Richardson, 13.25 each.
Bull Riding: 1. (tie) Caleb Sanderson on Diamond G Rodeo's Hair Trigger, Tim Bingham on Diamond G Rodeo's Mud Man, and Trey Benton III on Diamond G Rodeo's Zion's Lil' America, 85 points each; 4. Cody Campbell, 84; 5. Clayton Foltyn, 83; 6. Cole Echols, 81.
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.