By: Justin Felisko
August 12, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – Kasey Hayes leaned back against the wall of the PBR Sports Medicine room inside Wells Fargo Arena this past April as the water from his bag of ice crawled inched down his back.
The 30-year-old, rested his head, closed his eyes and tried to move his right shoulder.
Hayes had just finished competing in the 14th of 16 Built Ford Tough Series first half events and was once again feeling the effects of a separated right shoulder he sustained during the fourth event of 2016.
It was a common scene for Hayes. If he wasn’t receiving a shot or treatment on his shoulder, he was normally sitting in sports medicine with a larger than average bag of ice.
Hayes has competed in every BFTS event this season other than the Sacramento Invitational, which came a week after separating the shoulder attempting to ride Cowtown Slinger in Anaheim, California.
The problem was Hayes has been hurt all year, and it showed in his performance (8-for-42) during the first half. The 11-year BFTS veteran, though, refused to ever let an injury be an excuse.
“Man I think I am feeling better, just taking that time off,” Hayes last week at the Brighton, Colorado, Touring Pro Division event.
Hayes returned to competition on July 23 and has recently put together a 5-for-11 run in seven events.
“My shoulder is good now,” Hayes said. “It doesn’t hurt after the bull riding like it was. I was getting a shot every week. I went home and pretty much just worked it. I was tearing down a house and using hammers and stuff. Maybe I just forced myself through the pain and got it to where it is normal now. It feels good. I can use it the way I want to. I just felt good.”
The Liberal, Kansas, bull rider won the Goodland, Kansas, TPD event by going 2-for-2 and clinched the victory with an 87-point ride on The Rocker.
“Goodland, I rode both of my bulls,” Hayes said. “I got on The Rocker. You couldn’t ask for a better bull to get on in the short round and he went left too, which I wouldn’t mind if he went right anyways. I rode my long-round bull (Rick 84.5 points) away from my hand. I am the type of guy that if I ride one away from my hand it looks good.”
It doesn’t matter which way they go or how he makes 8 seconds right now. The fact of the matter is Hayes is just happy to once again be making qualified rides.
His 84-point ride on Demon in Brighton was a third consecutive ride. It was his first time since January 2015 with three or more straight rides.
“Probably not since the start of the year,” Hayes asked when he last felt this healthy. “I did it in Anaheim. It was like the third event out. It kind of messed with me a little bit I guess.”
Hayes heads into next week’s Frontier Communications Music City Knockout ranked 28th in the world standings. He is 3-for-10 in his career at PBR events in Nashville.
He was sitting at home this summer working on his new house when he realized it was time to start getting on bulls again.
“I wasn’t really too worried about (the standings), but I just wanted to come and start getting on bulls because I literally was not doing anything. I was just sitting at home building a house. I am writing big checks and no money is coming in. I was like it might be a good idea to hit the road too.
“Really, I was just wanting to do it because it is fun. I like hitting the road. Just like when me, J.B. (Mauney) and (Brian) Canter were all going down the road, talking about bull riding, waking up talking about bull riding, talking about bull riding after you got done bull riding. That is all we did.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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