SALT LAKE CITY — Utah rodeo legend Lewis Feild, 59, passed away from pancreatic cancer in February of this year. Feild was a friend to many and an idol to many more who followed the five-time world champion’s career.
The pro rodeo hall of famer is being honored with the newly created Lewis Feild Bonus Award. The monetary bonus will be awarded to the individual bareback rider with the highest points from the three main rodeos in Utah this week: Days of ’47, Ogden and Spanish Fork.
Feild’s sons Kaycee and Shadrach are both competing in the Days of ’47 Rodeo. Kaycee will compete Friday and Saturday in bareback, while Shadrach appeared Thursday in team roping. Both brothers still get teary eyed when speaking about their father, but admit the newly created award means a lot to their family.
“The state of Utah and the Days of ’47 Rodeo, to show their respect and honor my father like they have, it’s a true honor for me and my family,” said Kaycee. “Sometimes it’s a little bit hard, it’s still pretty fresh, but you just have to come here and face it, and honor the respect everyone had for my father.”
The Feild family carries a strong rodeo name within Utah and in the world.
Kaycee, a four-time world champion in bareback, followed in his father’s footsteps by thriving in the same event. He said he spoke with his father about the possibility of an award in his honor before he died.
“I brought it up to him a few times, and he said ‘that would be cool, but we don’t need to do that, we don’t need to have my name on it,’” said Kaycee. “The legacy he left behind and the way he lived his life — having the young guys coming up see that award is pretty neat.”
The Feild brothers admit rodeo was in their blood from the beginning.
“It’s the only life we knew,” said older brother Shadrach. “It was the greatest lifestyle anyone could ask for because we got to travel with him all of the time and we competed together a lot.”
Shadrach admits the tributes at all three rodeos are full of good memories.
“A lot of the stories that are coming out now on him are full of stuff that I didn’t even know about. It’s really cool to hear everybody’s take on him and having everybody share.”
Tremonton’s Sonny Murphy was one of two locals, and only four total, to stay on their bull Thursday. The longtime veteran’s bull nearly bucked him, but the cowboy held on sideways to beat the buzzer. Spanish Fork’s Dakota Ogden, 19, was the other local. Murphy recorded 72 points, while Ogden had 70.5.
“Tonight was one of those where you’ve just got to hang on, keep your hands shut and hope you don’t hit something hard,” said Murphy.
Friday features the Elite Rodeo Association's best of the best, while Saturday will feature the ERA riders along with the top qualifiers from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to conclude the Days of ’47 Rodeo.
Winner in bareback riding, Justin Miller (Montana) with 81.5 points. In steer wrestling, Dru Melvin (Nebraska) won in 4.13 seconds. In team roping, Clay Smith (Oklahoma) and Paul Eaves (Texas) topped in at 3.93 seconds. In saddle bronc riding, Chase Miller (Oklahoma) won with 75.5. In tie-down roping, Colton Kofoed (Wyoming) was the best with 8.95 seconds. In barrel racing, Britta Thiel was the fastest at 13.36 seconds. In bull riding, Guthrie Murray (Oklahoma) won with 82 points.