Kaycee Feild competes and goes on to win the bareback riding championship during the Super Series Championship at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in NRG Stadium, Saturday, March 19, 2016. Photo: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle
By Jason McDaniel Houston Chronicle
This one's for his dad.
Bareback rider Kaycee Feild won his fourth RodeoHouston championship in five years Saturday at NRG Stadium, only four weeks removed from losing his father, rodeo legend Lewis Feild, to cancer.
The 29-year-old won the Shootout with 90 points on Control Freak, netting him $56,750.
"We had a really special relationship, so it's different (without him), and this one means a lot," Feild said.
Lewis was a five-time world champion.
He won bareback titles in 1985 and 1986 and the all-around world championships in 1985, 1986 and 1987.
Kaycee took over from there, winning four world titles from 2011 to 2014.
But Lewis was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September, and after trying every treatment out there, he died Feb. 15.
"He put up a really good fight, and we had him horseback two days before he passed, and it seemed like that's all he was waiting for," Kaycee said.
Kaycee didn't wait long to get back on his horse.
He competed two weeks later at The American in Arlington, where Lewis was honored with a video tribute.
But it wasn't until Houston he regained his championship form.
"It's been hard," Kaycee said.
"Years past, I've been in the gym, been home and able to prepare for this rodeo a lot differently. This year, before I left, I told myself I've got to be mentally prepared. My physical shape doesn't matter, what horse I get on doesn't matter, I've got to be mentally prepared to do whatever I can to win."
Tyson Durfey began preparing to win Houston as a kid, watching the pay-per-view broadcasts his dad provided.
His dream was a reality Saturday.
Durfey ($55,750) won the four-man shootout in nine seconds, giving him his first title here.
"There are a few things people have on their bucket list to do, and this is one of them for me," Durfey said.
"I've been lucky enough to win The American (2014), I've won go-rounds at the (National Finals Rodeo), and so I've really got my eyes set on a world championship, and this ranks right up there with that."
Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill won the team roping championship, giving them $110,000.
Corkill, a three-time world champion heeler, also won Houston in 2008 with Chad Masters, but this is the first win here for Tryan, a two-time world champ.
"This means a lot," Corkill said.
"There are only a few big rodeos like this one, and some guys never get to win them once, so if you get to win them more than once, it's a blessing."
Clay Elliott and Rusty Wright tied atop the saddle bronc shootout with 87s.
So they each took one more ride, and Elliott came out on top with 85 points on Dancing Girl, earning him $55,500.
Dakota Eldridge ($56,750) secured the steer wrestling title, Mary Burger ($54,750) bagged her second barrel racing title – she also won in 2009 – and Sage Kimzey ($56,000) went back-to-back in bull riding.
Jason McDaniel is a freelance writer.