Rookie Phenom: Keenan Hayes Leads Rodeo’s Money Charts with Unstoppable Talent!

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A dominating force in bareback riding, Keenan Hayes has burst into the world of professional rodeo and shown everyone exactly why he belongs and deserves success in this sport. The cowboy from Hayden, Colorado has racked up more than $189,000 with three months left to go in the 2023 season, and he’s not slowing down.

Keenan Hayes vs Hippie Whistle in final round of Reno Rodeo 2023

Approaching the end of the summer run, Hayes leads the world standings by more than $40,000 and the Resistol Rookie of the Year standings by more than $80,000. Kicking off his rookie season, the 2022 Permit Finals champion has won the 150th Silver Spurs Rodeo, the Brighton Field Day & Rodeo, Rodeo Austin, the San Angelo Cinch Chute-Out, the Resistol Rookie Roundup, the Home of Champions Rodeo, the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo, Laramie Jubilee Days, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, the NFR Open and the Central Wyoming Fair & PRCA Rodeo.


Hayes’ ambition and passion for rodeo began when he started riding mini steers at 8 years old. After being the reserve champion bareback rider at the 2018 National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR), Hayes took home the NHSFR bareback riding championship in 2019. Throughout his childhood and high school, he competed in all three roughstock events before committing solely to bareback riding in 2021. Now, he has a solid shot at winning the rookie title and world title in the same year!
“This season, Keenan is on his rookie card; and he’s winning the world by quite a ways, so it’s pretty outstanding. Obviously, Keenan’s a phenom, and I don’t think anybody’s seen one come along like him, probably since Joe Alexander,” said Ty Skiver, owner of Skiver Bootmakers. “We were founded in 1996, and we make cowboy boots. Our customer base is rodeo cowboys. I build a lot of their chaps, and a lot of them wear our boots to ride broncs in. I saw Keenan coming up, and he won around $100,000 on his permit in one year; so I thought it’d be great to have that guy wearing our product. He’s going to be the guy!”

About the Author

Hannah Crandall

Hannah Crandall, Originally from Earth, Texas, a small town in the Texas panhandle, I was raised around rodeo, agriculture, and the western lifestyle. With a degree from Texas A&M University, I have found a passion for promoting the lifestyle that made me who I am today. I am an experienced writer, marketer, and event professional with a strong desire to share the stories of those in our industry. When I’m not busy seeking out ways to promote the western way of life, I enjoy following those I care about around to rodeos, hunting, and going on runs with my blue-eyed, blue-merle Australian Shepherd.

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