This Oklahoma cowboy throws a rope between two worlds; art and rodeo

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SAPULPA, OKLAHOMA -- Cowboy, horse, rope, and calf.

Throw them all together on a patch of dirt and you've either got a round-up or a rodeo.

"I know what that's all about," says pro-roper Bradley Chance Hays. "I know what it's like to drive 20 hours, get out and rope on a horse that you've trained."

Bradley Chance Hays has been around both all his life.

His dad and uncle were ropers.

Bradley's mom is a direct descendant of legendary cowboy Charles Goodnight.

He continues, "And I've spent more time on the back of a horse from the time I was a kid."

Chance grew up on the Kansas flats near Rola and beneath the shadow of pump jacks in Bristow, Oklahoma.

He came to love the land, the life, and the light of artistic inspiration.

"What I've been trying to do," says Hays, "is tie the contemporary and western all together."

Hays might have gotten his first rope at age six, but his art teacher mom gave him his first pencil at age five.

Chance says, "The simplest things that I sketch often turn into paintings."

He might be the only pro rodeo cowboy out there with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts.

"Everything that I see can be a piece of art," he says, "and the colors that I see too."

A quick sketch of a cowgirls he spotted near the stalls recently transforms beneath a sweep of water and ink.

At the International Finals Rodeo he'll compete in tie-down roping.

One of his paintings will grace the audience program.

In both sport and art he draws movement from experience.

Chance gets one shot to make both right.

The finish is an impressionist flash, a feeling, one moment in a cowboy's life frozen so you can look at it again and again.

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