FEATURED BREEDER; January 2009:
article by Baru Forell Spiller
know a person well, either because he is family or a close acquaintance,
you know his habits, his personality, his history, his dislikes & likes,
his faults and attributes - they become common to you. Because of that
familiarity, as a father, uncle, cousin, etc., you often overlook the bigger
picture of the impact of his life on other people.
I only met Vince Hayes once, in 2002 or 2003, when he
visited Randy & Susan Brookings at the Funny B Ranch, Lohn, Texas, to
whom he sold his great stallion, Leo Hancock Hayes, the last breeding son
of Blue Valentine. However, I had talked to him on the phone several times,
since 2000, about breeding to his stud when he stood at Ray & Cheri Wardell's
in Moorcroft; and about the history of Blue Valentine, in general as I was
doing research to write on the subject.
Because Vince had sent his stallion to Wardell's, they
had some colts by Leo Hancock Hayes. In 2004, I went up to Wardell's to look
at a stallion prospect they had. My sister, Deb Christy, accompanied me on
the trip. Although I ended up not buying a horse, she cultivated a relationship
that exists to this day and has bought numerous horses from them since. The
first one she bought has carried her 2 years in a row to Nebraska &
Mid-States rodeo championships and the WPRA finals.
As a part of the Hayes family, Vince's part in the story
of Blue Valentine cannot be overlooked. He had the foresight to keep his
great breeding stallion and today his offspring are in all corners of the
U.S., Mexico & Canada perpetuating the most prolific line of Hancock
horses in existence today.
Vince was also a key organizer in the "Outlaw Trail
Ride" out of Thermopolis, Wyoming every year. Before I ever met Vince Hayes,
my dad took his horse up to Wyoming with some buddies and took part in the
trail ride in two different years. To my surprise, once I got acquainted
with Vince, he related a story about my dad on one of the trail rides. Although
my dad was only 5'11" and not overweight, he always seemed larger than life.
Apparently his presence must have made an impression on other folks at the
trail ride because Vince referred to him "Big Bud". Vince must have equally
impressed my dad for him to return twice to the trail ride. Daddy remembered
him as a jovial, fun sort. I lost my dad in 2005 so that memory of my Dad
from Vince is special.
God Speed, Vince. Thanks for the memories and the
contribution to our industry.
Spiller Ranch 2702 CR 209
Wingate TX 79566