GUYMON, Okla. – Kasey Hayes had every intention of giving his hometown crowd a show on Saturday night at the Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena.
He did just that with an emphatic 2-for-2 performance to win the Kasey Hayes / Stormy Wing BlueDEF Velocity Tour event.
“This is great and I just love being able to come here and actually ride successfully in front of my hometown friends and family,” Hayes said before joking, “There is no better feeling then going out in front of your friends and family and being able to tell them, ‘I told you guys I am a good bull rider!’”
Hayes, who estimated he had a couple hundred friends and family that made the 45-minute trip from his Liberal, Kansas, hometown, won his own event in an almost comeback like fashion after Kaique Pacheco took over the lead in the championship round with a monstrous 94-point ride aboard Bruiser that left the back of the bucking chutes in an uproar.
However, Hayes was able to come through with a memorable ride of his own by covering DaNutso for 92 points as H.D. Page’s bovine athlete drifted out toward the middle of the arena.
“I was like man, DaNutso bucks, but I don’t know if I can win it on him because that ride by Kaique was badass,” Hayes said. “That is how (DaNutso) is. He is sucking back and he moves forward too and he hits the ground and sucks back. He is a little different and people have some trouble with him, but I like him. I get along with him.”
DaNutso had bucked off his previous 10 opponents at all levels, including Hayes in Nampa, Idaho, when he ripped the lower pant leg off his jeans.
Hayes was the last rider to make the 8-second whistle on DaNutso after doing so in February at the Anaheim, California, Built Ford Tough Series event for 85.5 points.
“I rode him in Anaheim and it was like the rankest 85-point bull ride I ever made,” Hayes said.
DaNutso has now only been ridden five times in 43 career outs at all levels.
One bull that didn’t fit Hayes was SweetPro’s Long John. The 29-year-old lasted less than 3 seconds on the World Champion Bull contender and was sent toppling over Long John’s front end during the $10,000 bounty bull matchup.
“Long John, man, what can I say?” Hayes said. “I didn’t put out as good of an effort to ride him like I did the first time I tried him (6.49 seconds in Billings, Montana). I literally thought I had his number this time. Second jump and I was sadly mistaken. Man, he is moving forward and he just jerked me into my arm and that was all she wrote.”
Long John was marked only 43.5 points for the brief outing.
Page was happy to see Long John get back to work following his summer of rest and recovery from a foot injury.
“He was juicy,” Page said. “He really broke over and kicked and bucked out of there. That was really all you could see. It doesn’t look the cows hurt him any. It was good to knock the rust off him.”
Hayes set himself up for a shot at the event victory by riding Gotta Go Joefor 87.5 points in the long round despite the bull turning to the right instead of the left like he normally does.
“That was a good one,” Hayes said. “When he went right, he kind of had me out of there and I could have gave up, but with all of these people here watching me that know me I figured it is not time to be a wussy.”
Hayes earned 80 points for the BlueDEF Velocity victory and moves up one spot in the world standings to No. 24.
Pacheco placed second with 178.5 points in the event average – he rode Tragically Hip for 84.5 points in the long round – to gain 50 points toward the world standings.
It was a good night for Pacheco, who not only rode Bruiser, but cut into Joao Ricardo Vieira’s world lead after the No. 1 bull rider finished 10thoverall.
“It was very difficult to ride Bruiser,” Pacheco said through a translator. “I was hoping he would go to the left and I had to give everything I got to get 8 seconds.”
The 94-point ride is a career-high for Pacheco at any PBR level of competition.
Vieira rode Okie Dokie for 82 points in the long round before being bucked off by The Price Is Right to kick off the championship round.
Eduardo Aparecido was the last rider to go 2-for-2 in the event after riding Flyin Crazy for 87 points in the championship round and Mayhem for 87.5 points in the long round.
Aparecido earns 30 points toward the world standings to jump from 29th in the world to 27th.
Cooper Davis placed fourth and won the long round with an 89-point ride on What A Burger. The No. 16 bull rider in the world picks up 20 points toward the standings.
“Driving 12 hours will make you try a little harder, I guess,” Davis said. “It is a big builder for you to get something down under your belt and be confident for when you get to Biloxi.”
Rounding out the Top 5 was Thad Newell and his 87-point ride on Guyman Special. Newell picks up 15 points toward the world standings.
Hayes now turns his focus to Big Sky, Montana, for the Big Sky BlueDEF Velocity Tour event on July 30-31 before the BFTS resumes on Aug. 7 in Biloxi, Mississippi.
But before he left Guymon, Hayes wanted to make sure everyone in attendance knew just how special the Guymon Chamber of Commerce and the fans made his second annual event.
“This was a pretty good turnout and I am proud of Guymon,” Hayes concluded. “I have been to a couple of BlueDEFs and we had as good of rider power as we have had at any of them. I have to take my hat off to all of my buddies to show up and make this bull riding as good as it was.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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