BFI Documentary to Air on Cowboy Channel - Bob Feist Invitational

BFI Documentary to Air on Cowboy Channel


A brand-new film documenting nearly a half-century of footage and interviews from the Bob Feist Invitational will premiere March 23 and 24 on The Cowboy Channel at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Eastern, respectively.

The documentary, brought to you by Resistol and Ullman Peterson Events, features sit-down interviews with several former BFI champs like Trevor Brazile, Tee Woolman, Dee Pickett and Rich Skelton, along with recent slow-motion footage juxtaposed with vintage audio play-by-play.

“You had to be horseback and you had to handle cattle,” the film captures from Dick Yates, who once entered with Hollywood actor Wilford Brimley’s son. “It put the ‘cowboy’ in roping.”

Many, including Rube Woolsey, credit Rodeo Video for kicking off today’s giant wave of team roping advancement because of the sale of its wildly popular run-by-run “BFI tapes.” Every serious team roper for the past 30 years grew up watching BFI tapes, first on VHS and then DVD and finally downloaded.

“We all wanted to do good there since we were little boys,” said Woolsey, who banked $50,094 in 1995. “And that adds quite a bit of pressure.”

The film was produced by Wildhorse Motion, co-owned by Texas native Tim Endsley, over the past year. Endsley pointed out that, well before cell phones or internet, America knew who won the BFI within a day, somehow.

“I love the segments with Bob [Feist],” said Endsley. “And Dee [Pickett] talked about the fact that team ropers had fewer places to rope as they got better. There were only rodeos, and many rodeos still didn’t have team roping. I was a calf roper and Dee was one of my heroes – in fact, my dad announced the 1984 NFR when he won the world.”

For years, the BFI paid more than a team roper could make at the NFR. And a BFI buckle remains right next to a gold buckle as the holy grail for team ropers. This film nods to the fact that each steer’s tail has to clear the end of the gate – and each roper has to decide whether to go for first or survive another round.

“I loved hearing Brian Burrows talk about winning the third-ever BFI with 17-year-old Allen Bach, and then he quit roping,” said Endsley. “We had to cut so much out, but there are so many great stories. We’re already figuring out what we’ll do in a few years for the 50th anniversary.”

The film will also be shown for viewing in Edmond, Oklahoma, at 5 p.m. on March 29 preceding the BFI Dinner and Calcutta at the Hilton Garden Inn, on the eve of the 47th Annual BFI in Guthrie.

Julie Mankin

Wyoming native Julie Mankin has roped for three decades, and in her 25-year career as a former newspaper editor, PRCA publicist and freelance writer, her work has been published in Western Horseman, American Cowboy, AQHA Journal, True West, Cowboys & Indians and more.