Join us in celebrating 44 years of team roping excellence!
On the heels of pandemic-prompted civic uncertainty in Nevada that forced the last-minute cancellation in Las Vegas of the World Series of Team Roping Finale, organizers of Wrangler Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) Week have good news.
The $700,000 Wrangler BFI, held for 35 years in Reno, will in March 2021 partner with the other titan of the roping industry – the $200,000 Cinch Timed Event Championships (CTEC) – as they converge the same week in Oklahoma’s Lazy E Arena. With no prospect of last-minute changes, Wrangler BFI Week will happen March 14-18, immediately following the CTEC on March 11-13.
What makes The Feist different from any other roping? Is it really that difficult to rope six steers, clean, in a row? To answer that question, let’s take a trip back to the beginning of BFI history and imagine where the idea came from and what was the setup for the first Bob Feist Invitational.
“I was dating a tennis player at the time and I would go with her to matches and would always notice a couple hundred people sitting in the stands watching the good players. I thought to myself, this is what we do at the rodeos and good ropings too. We all stop what we are doing to go watch a good team or guys we know can catch. I thought, I bet if I set up an invitational event, with only forty of the best teams, under extremely tough circumstances, that people would come and watch.” – Bob Feist
Think of the biggest arena you have ever roped in, then double if not triple the size of it. Instead of the normal score like most ropers are accustom to at fourteen to eighteen feet, stretch the barrier out to thirty five feet. Add a dash of hard running, strong cattle and voila! That was Chowchilla, California. The home of the first three BFI events.
“I wanted to showcase not only how good these guys could rope, but also the type of horse flesh it took to compete at this level under these conditions. That is what still sets the BFI roping apart from others today. The combined horsepower, roping skills and the mental game that it takes to stay focused for what is now a full eight hour day in the arena.” -Bob Feist
The BFI spent the three years in Chowchilla then moved for a year to Las Vegas, Nevada. “We kind of got lost in the lights of Vegas when we were there. It seemed like a great idea but we didn’t make the splash we were hoping for.” -Bob Feist
After Las Vegas, the BFI moved to the Lone Star State of Texas, where the roping should have thrived. “Believe it or not, team roping wasn’t popular in Texas at all in the late 70’s early 80’s. The “prunies” (Californians) and guys for Arizona were all in, but it just wasn’t that big then” said Bob. He chuckles and continues “Hard to believe now with the size of the ropings around Stephenville, Decatur and Hamilton.”
The BFI moved to Reno, NV. 1982, where the event was held for 35 years. “We put together a portable arena at the Western Village truck stop for the first couple of years. The Reno Rodeo started the week after so we figured the guys could come in early, do some roping and enjoy Reno before the rodeo. But as the Reno Rodeo grew and grew, it enveloped us. We moved to the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center after a couple years and it has stayed there ever since.”- Bob Feist.
The Most Anticipated Monday of the Year!
Who puts on a team roping on a Monday? “I told rodeo committees and friends that team roping was going to explode. They laughed. Told me I was crazy. Told me that people wanted to watch real cowboys like the bull riders and bronc riders. Me being me, I bowed up and said ‘I’ll show you guys. Nobody does anything on a Monday in this industry. I’ll put together the biggest showing of team ropers in the world AND I’ll do it on a Monday!’” – Bob Feist
The BFI has grown to team roping elite of elites. Not just for the competitors but the fans as well. Today, the roping kicks off at 8 a.m and the stands are nearly full by noon. As the day winds closer to sixth and final round, the stands get packed. Fans of roping, locals, and people the walks of life converge on events center to watch the best in world compete for coveted title of “BFI Champion.” After 40 years, roping fans have picked their favorites to cheer for and you can hear and feel the excitement when ropers like Derrick Begay make a good run. Or feel the respect of applause when Clay O’Brien Cooper tips his hat as he coils his rope after a seemingly effortless heel shot. You should hear the crowd when Trevor Brazile rides out leading the average after four. Fan’s from BFI’s yesteryear pay tribute to three men that have competed in every single roping since the first year; the legendary Denny Watkins, World Champion Allen Bach, and World Champion Mike Beers with cheers, whistles and applause.
The BFI brings together walks of life, from amateur to pro, enjoy and celebrate the sport of team roping. The only thing better than watching the greatest in world for day, is spend a whole week worrying about nothing but team roping!
The owners of BFI, Daren and Kami Peterson along with Corky Ullman, invite you to join us for another great year of team roping this year. Each year, we strive to put on one of the greatest events in the sport of team roping. Our promise to you is that when you attend Wrangler BFI Week you will rope against teams of equal numbers and capabilities. You will rope great cattle, the production staff will be the finest in the roping industry, and most of all you will have a fun and enjoyable experience. We invite you to load your horses and your family and come spend a week with us at this years Wrangle BFI Week presented by Yeti!