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Cattlemen's Days to raise funds for breast cancer

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – The creative mind of Bradley Chance Hays is always at work.

Whether he’s working a young horse in the round pen or putting his thoughts on canvas, Hays sees something different than most. He’s more than a cowboy artist; he’s a cowboy and an artist, mixing his two loves into one livelihood.

He will be right at home during the Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink Songwriter Auction and Concert, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, at the Mountaineer Square Conference Center in Crested Butte.

“Chance will be doing live art during that event, and we’re very happy to have him be part of this experience,” said Heidi Sherratt Bogart, executive director of Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink. “This is always a great event that helps us raise funds for our campaign to battle breast cancer.

“Because of the generosity of so many people over the years, we have given over $1 million in services and equipment to Gunnison Valley Hospital for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

Hays was raised in Rolla, Kan., a tiny burg of about 400 people in southwest Kansas. He attended nearby Oklahoma Panhandle State University on a rodeo scholarship, then earned his bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma State University.

But his training came much earlier in life. The son of an art teacher and a cowboy, the mixture of passions has been part of Hays’ life from the beginning.

“I can’t say one’s any more important than the other, because it takes off of it to make a piece of art,” Hays told Cowboys & Indians magazine in 2015. “Taking an hour before I go to a meeting to exercise my horse and watch the sun come up in the morning has always been just as important as picking up my paintbrush to make the painting.”

Hays is just one of the artists who will be in Crested Butte that evening. Songwriter Dean Dillon, a highly decorated songwriter and member of the Gunnison TETWP board, headlines the concert and auction and will be joined by fellow artists Trent Willmon, Liz Rose and Dillon’s talented daughter, Song Dillon.

“Our Songwriter Concert and Auction is a wonderful way to showcase some amazing talent that comes in especially for this, so having Chance be part of it will just add a different kind of art to this event,” Sherratt Bogart said.

For Hays, the appeal of his art comes through each step he takes on a horse and through the strokes of his brush. It isn’t about making money for himself; it’s about sharing his love for the Western lifestyle.

“If someone buys a horse that I trained to rope on, I’m not selling something I bought and traded,” he told Cowboys & Indians. “I made that horse. When someone buys one of my paintings, I thought about something, and I made the painting.”

For more information about Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink and the Songwriter Concert and Auction, log on to

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