Hancock Horses .com

Our Condolences to the family of Vince Hayes, who passed away Sat, Dec 27th.
Vince Hayes of Thermopolis, WY owned Leo Hancock Hayes
(foaled in 1980, the year his sire Blue Valentine died) until he was twenty years old.


Vince Hayes, Thermopolis WY
article by Baru Forell Spiller
Jan 2009

Vince Hayes, Therompolis WY, by Baru Spiller

      When you 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.

Baru Spiller
Spiller Ranch 2702 CR 209
Wingate TX 79566

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