Lewis Feild, a five-time world champion and ProRodeo Hall of Famer, died Feb. 15 after battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was 59.
Feild, who was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and lived in Elk Ridge near Payson, Utah, won his first all-around world title in 1985, becoming the first roughstock cowboy to do so since Larry Mahan in 1973.
A PRCA member since 1980, Feild won three straight world all-around titles (1985-87), as well as two world bareback riding crowns (1985-86). In 1990, he became the first roughstock contestant to surpass $1 million in career earnings and the third cowboy overall, following Tom Ferguson and Roy Cooper.
Because of his prowess in both the roughstock and timed events, Feild won the distinguished Linderman Award three times (1981, 1988 and 1991). He also was the PRCA Bareback Riding Rookie of the Year in 1980.
Born Oct. 28, 1956, the son of Keith and True Feild,the Utah cowboy started his rodeo career at a young age. He competed in the National High School Rodeo Association, qualifying for the Finals three times.
Feild attended Utah Valley State College in Orem, Utah, on a full rodeo scholarship and qualified for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Finals three years in saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and team roping.
Bareback rider Danny Brady, a six-time qualifier for the National Finals Rodeo (1982-84, 1986-87 and 1989), traveled with Feild for eight years, and had high praise for his dear friend.
“He was just one hell of a man,” said Brady, 57. “I hold him up there with my own dad, with the respect that I have for him. I was very fortunate to get to travel with him because he was such a positive influence on me in everything from riding bucking horses to being an example to me in just about everything we came in contact with.
“He was a man full of life and he was a cowboy through and through, not just a rodeo cowboy. The kind of man he was, everybody I talked to thought they were his best friend. He made everybody feel like he was their best friend and he cared about everybody he came in contact with. He was just a man’s man, and a cowboy’s cowboy in my book.”
Since retiring from competitive rodeo in 1991, Feild worked as a pickup man – working the 2004 WNFR – and also coached the rodeo team for his alma mater, Utah Valley State. He was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1992.
The younger of his two sons, Kaycee Feild, is a four-time world champion bareback rider (2011-14).
Lewis Feild is survived by his wife, Veronica; three children, sons, Shad and Kaycee, and daughter, Maclee, and seven grandchildren. The family has set up a foundation, Buck Cancer, to aid ailing cowboys and other victims of pancreatic cancer.