Uncategorized Archives - Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping

High Stakes on Even Cattle

When amateur team ropers drive hundreds of miles and spend thousands of dollars for the chance to win six figures, they don’t need to get outrun just after the preceding team had a loper.


That’s according to Bob Feist Invitational Week producer Daren Peterson, whose 46th Annual BFI is happening on April Fool’s Day this year in Guthrie, Oklahoma (tickets go on sale Feb. 1). That means all the ropers entering the Hooey Jr. BFI, the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl, the BFI Legends, the 15.5, 12.5, 11.5, 10.5-Over and brand-new 9.5-Over-40, 8.5 and 7.5, on March 29 through April 4, know a few things.


First, they can win paydays like last year’s $180,000 in the 12.5, for instance, but also, they can expect plenty of first-class stalls onsite with no hauling required, plus full RV hookups. They can expect ample warm-up space to lope circles. And most importantly, they’ll nod their heads for honest, even cattle. 


“At some big ropings, the cattle have already been used a lot,” said Scott Gage of 3 Point Productions, who with Jeff Smith will bring up to 600 head to Guthrie. “But we break steers in and get steers ready only for BFI Week.”


An Oklahoma native, Smith had the cattle at the USTRC Finals for some 20 years.


“As long as steers haven’t had many runs, they’re fairly similar,” he said. “We pride ourselves on honest steers, and we like the BFI ropings and want great cattle there.”


Smith puts on three other ropings annually at the Lazy E Arena, including one just a week prior to BFI Week. 


“After we break in the BFI cattle, we put two runs on them at that jackpot behind that barrier, and sort every steer there, so they’re programmed for that arena,” Smith said. “It works out great and when BFI Week starts, we don’t worry because we saw them all last week.”


Kenny Brown’s confidence in the steers and scoreline at Guthrie brings the veteran heeler to the Lazy E each year, despite it being a thousand miles from his Maryland home. 


“Those ropings are roper-friendly and it’s set up for you to catch,” said Brown, who will enter the brand-new 9.5-Over-40 with his wife, MaryAnn, and also plans to find a header for the 12.5. “It doesn’t feel like the producer is trying to beat you. He’s giving you a chance. Also, even though it moved, it’s a very prestigious roping. It’s still the Bob Feist.”


Peterson knows that Gage and Smith do more than put eyeballs and sorting sticks on every single steer before it comes up the alley at the Lazy E Arena.


“Throughout the week, their crew sorts every steer all day, every day,” said Peterson, who owns BFI Week with Corky Ullman. “And Doug Clark, our line judge, also has input into setting the score and managing cattle. The reason we hire 3 Point and Jeff Smith Productions is that they use our same philosophy – to take the time to do it right and make it as roper-friendly as possible.”


It’s an intricate science, deciding which steers need more runs and which need culled. That kind of attention to detail is what makes gals pull into Guthrie to try for another thirty-thousand-dollar payday like Lari Dee Guy had in 2001, or teenagers show up to gun for $25,000. 


“I’ve been going to BFI Week for I don’t know how many years for that 11.5 Businessman’s roping,” said Texan Belo Wiley, whose son Chase has been an annual BFI contestant for years. “The steers and the conditions are very consistent, and that’s hard to do, as a producer.”


This year, he’s also planning to enter the 10.5-Over-40, and the new 9.5-Over-40 and 8.5, which will utilize slower steers also sorted and brought specifically for those ropings. Gone are the days when a producer would let Open teams break in a herd and then run those steers all week in other ropings, said Smith. He was even asked to put seven or eight runs on the steers he brought to Cheyenne Frontier Days last summer, because rodeo’s elite don’t want unpredictable steers – roping just costs so much now.


“At BFI Week, we have guys sitting at the back end watching, and if a steer doesn’t fit, he’s out of there,” said Smith. “It’s easy to do. Steers cost a lot of money and it’s a lot of work sorting, but it’s not hard. If you want them to be good, that’s the way you have to do it.”


That means ropers in BFI Week’s traditional 11.5 Businessman’s and 10-Over-40, plus the brand-new 9.5-Over-40, 8.5 and 7.5 ropings, can rest assured of an even playing field. Similar cattle means everyone has a fair chance – from the BFI itself down to the 7.5.


“Things have changed,” Smith pointed out. “It doesn’t matter if your fees are a thousand a man or $150 a man, people won’t go rope uneven cattle.”

It’s Legendary, It’s Prestigious, It’s the Bob Feist Invitational

In 2021 Kory Koontz became a member of an elite club-a club of 3 time Bob Feist Invitational winners. With wins in 2021, 1996 and 1995 Koontz officially ranked among other BFI Legends Rich Skelton and Clay Tryan, who have also won three titles each. This win also pushed Koontz to the top of BFI earning leaderboards, with over $240,000 won over the course of his career.

Koontz explained he couldn’t have reached these historic accolades on his own. He graciously accredits his many great partners and horses. Koontz reflected on his 2021 BFI win with Manny Egusquiza explaining, “The day just went our way. I couldn’t have been happier to win it with my partner and friend, Manny. He’s a great header and I was so excited for him to get the big win.” He explained that being able to return to the BFI and win another title years later was a truly special moment in his career.

The 22-time NFR qualifier also accredited his long-term success at the BFI to his strong string of equine partners. In 2021, he rode to success on “Remix”, a dun gelding whom he named after his past champion horses “Iceman” (who led Koontz to two BFI titles, multiple NFR qualifications, and Horse of the Year Titles), “Jackyl” and “Switchblade” in hopes this horse would be a remix and combination of the greats. Koontz joked he wasn’t much of a yearling and pretty broncy, but has worked out pretty well for himself and Travis Graves, who rode “Remix” at the 2022 NFR. Koontz explained how important horsepower is, especially at the BFI. “In 2021, we drew a few tough steers and Remix did a great job of giving me my shot and making sure we could get the job done.”

This spring, Koontz will return to the prestigious roping with header Peyton Walters in hopes of continuing his success at The Feist. Koontz described the BFI as the most prestigious open roping and an event that will forever have a large impact on his career. He further reflected on his career explaining, “It has been an honor to be grouped in with so many guys that I look up to. I will always cherish the prestige of The Fiest and the impact it has made on my life.”


Louisiana’s Josie Conner Wins 2022 BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Breakaway Roping

The BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Breakaway Roping sent BFI Week 2022 out with a big bang, and young gun Cajun cowgirl Josie Conner stuck it on ’em April 5 for $11,000, including $1,000 for the 18 & Under Youth Incentive. Home-schooled high school senior Conner of Iowa, Louisiana, roped three calves in 12.59 seconds for the last big win of this year’s BFI Week. 


“This is awesome,” said Josie, who’s 18, graduates in May and plans to start college at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana in the fall. “The BFI is such a prestigious event in the team roping world, and they were one of the first big jackpots to bring the breakaway along with it. We appreciate that, and this was a pretty good day.


“I’ve had a lot of success at the Lazy E. It’s such a great facility, and the people who run it are so nice. I always know my horses are safe here. I just feel comfortable here.”

Conner and her horse Dutch also won the 18 & Under Youth Incentive at the BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Breakaway Roping.
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Josie is the daughter of Jade and Wendi Conner, and Daddy Jade is always in her corner—literally. Josie’s giving her trademark sorrel horse, Tonka, a mini vacation while she and her parents head for the spring-run rodeos in California. 


“I almost cried when I left Tonka home yesterday,” Josie said. “This is the first place I’ve been without Tonka. But Dutch (who’s also a sorrel) has done great, and I really just feel like this is going to help me get rolling on him.” 


There were 105 entries, the scoreline was one under, and the calves were running. Second to Conner’s 12.50 on three was Cassidy Kelly at 14.30. She won $6,000.  


It’s a great time to be a young breakaway roper, and Conner is capitalizing on it. 


“Breakaway roping has grown so much as a sport, and all the girls have upped their game,” Josie said. “It’s just so cool to grow up with the sport. Between the rodeos, what the WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) and ropings are doing, it’s crazy. It’s happening fast, and I’m really excited for that.”

Josie Conner of Iowa, Louisiana, roped three calves in 12.59 seconds to win the 2022 BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Breakaway Roping, $11,000, a Cactus Saddle, two Gist Buckles, YETI Carryall, Heel-O-Matic Nex and Rattler Rope. 
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Her dad has had the biggest hand in helping Josie climb the roping ranks. She’s also a student of the game. 


“I like to watch all the breakaway ropers, and take bits and pieces from everyone and see how they might work for me,” she said. “They’ve all impacted me. As the sport’s gotten bigger, everyone has upped their game. And that’s helped me up mine.”


She had to wait to turn 18 to get her pro card. That makes this Josie’s rookie year. 


“Because I’m a rookie, I had to watch Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston from home,” she said. “But I’ve had a good year at the youth events, and I’m excited to get rolling now. I’m just going to try to get to the good rodeos, and the big open ropings. I try to do my job every single time, make as few mistakes as possible and not leave money on the table.” 


Click here to view the full results.

Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Breakaway Results

Aggregate: 1. Josie Conner, 12.59 seconds on 3 head, $10,000; 2. Cassidy Kelly, 14.3 seconds on 3 head, $6,000; 3. Sarah Angelone, 14.42 seconds on 3 head, $4,500; 4. Shelby Whiting, 15.27 seconds on 3 head, $3,500; 5. Rylea Fabrizio, 15.92 seconds on 3 head, $2,500; 6. Amber Coleman, 16.13 seconds on 3 head, $2,000; 7. Darcy Good, 17.35 seconds on 3, $1,750; 8. Jenna Lee Adams, 18.29 seconds on 3, $1,500; 9. Bailey Gubert, 23.19 seconds on 3, $1,000


First Round: 1. Beau Peterson, 3.21 seconds, $1,000; 2. Tia Wallace, 3.42 seconds, $750; 3. Halle Tatham, 3.55 seconds, $500


Second Round: 1. Bailey Gubert, 3.23 seconds, $1,000; 2. Sammy Taylor, 3.57 seconds, $750; 3. Hali Williams, 4.25 seconds, $500


Short Round: 1. Sarah Angelone, 3.67 seconds, $750 


18 & Under Incentive: 1. Josie Connor, 8.85 seconds on 2 head, $1,000; 2. Caydence Crawford, 10.1 seconds on 2 head, $600; 3. Harley Meged, 18.27 seconds on 2 head, $400

Hope T and Whitney D Dominate BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl

Hope Thompson and Whitney DeSalvo are a time-tested team to be reckoned with. They’re the best of friends, and that chemistry has spilled straight into their super-successful partnership. Thompson and DeSalvo roped four steers in 30.78 seconds to take the $20,000 title at the BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping, and daylighted the 174-team field by 7.86 seconds. Thompson and DeSalvo have now won this roping two of the last three years, and were the reserve champs that third year. 


Hope and Whitney took a half-second lead over the pack into the short round, and slammed the door with a snappy 7.22-second run. 


“Winning is why we enter,” smiled Thompson, who’s a two-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world champion header, and also owns a WPRA breakaway roping title and a World Champions Rodeo Alliance heeling championship. “A repeat win with Whitney is pretty special, because she’s one of my best friends. I love her. She’s awesome.”


Four-time WPRA World Champion Heeler DeSalvo is the first-ever and only female 8 heeler in roping history. 


“I struggled so bad early in the day today,” Whitney said humbly. “I had great partners, but of the first three steers I ran, I missed two and slipped a leg on the other one. I caught both of those steers I missed, then lost both feet. I placed in the first round with Lari Dee (Guy), then turned around and missed our second one. 

On top of their $20,000 champs’ check, Thompson and DeSalvo were presented Cactus Saddles, Charlie 1 Horse Hats, Gist Buckles, YETI Carryalls, Justin Boots, Cactus Saddlery Pads, Heel-O-Matic Bones and Hox, and Cactus Ropes.
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“I told Hope before we roped our first steer, ‘I’m catching ’em, I just don’t know if I can keep ’em in it. If it goes on, you might want to hold your breath a little.’”


The daughter-mom team of Rylea and Debbie Fabrizio roped four steers in 38.64 for second and $7,500 in the BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl. Kersti Passig and Lenay Willie were 27.42 on three to take the 9.5 Incentive. Passig and Willie were presented $3,750, Cactus Saddles, Charlie 1 Horse Hats, Gist Buckles, YETI Carryalls, Cactus Saddlery Pads, Heel-O-Matic Bones and Hox, and Cactus Ropes. In case you’re curious, a World Series barrier was used for the All-Girl. 


Thompson and DeSalvo first won the BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping together in 2020, when the BFI moved to the Lazy E. They were second last year, then struck again in 2022. 


“We’ve pretty much been roping together since I started team roping,” said Hope, who calls Abilene, Texas home. “It started first as a friendship. We’ve been really good friends for a really long time. We’ve had so much fun, and have won a lot of ropings together. 


“Whitney is absolutely the most dominant woman heeler in the world today. And if you don’t even segregate it, she fits right in at any open roping. She’s a freak at what she does. Heeling’s her #1 passion, but if she worked as hard at the heading or breakaway, she’d be just as dominant in those, too. I just shake my head at how effortless she makes it look. Whitney’s a badass.”


Hope T can’t quite decide which event she likes best. 


“I’m not sure I could pick,” said the talented roper, clinician and horse trainer, who’s a 5+ header and a 4+ heeler. “I’m really passionate about training the breakaway horses. But anytime you put a rope in my hand, I love it all.”


Hope rode her sorrel giant Andre, who she bought and trained as a 4-year-old and is 11 now. Whitney rode her 11-year-old sorrel mare, Becky. 


“We drew good steers,” Hope said. “But when I back in there with Whitney, I’m in no hurry. She gives me so much confidence. Knowing that we’ll be fine if I just score, rope and turn the steer makes it fun and easy.

Hope Thompson and Whitney DeSalvo roped four steers in 30.78 seconds to daylight the field by almost eight seconds and take the $20,000 win at the 2022 BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping.
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“And what can you not say about the Lazy E? I love it here. It’s awesome. We roped good steers. The ground was awesome. I’m grateful for the opportunity to get to rope on this platform as part of BFI Week.”


DeSalvo lives in Monticello, Arkansas, where she rides and ropes for Broken H Farms. 


“The Lazy E’s been good to me,” Hope said. “I won first, second and third in this roping the first year the BFI moved here, in 2020.”


DeSalvo won the All-Girl Roping at the 2021 BFI in Reno with Jenna Johnson, and second with Hope T at the 2021 BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl in Guthrie before working her way back to the winner’s circle with her great friend in 2022. 


“Hope and I have a great friendship first,” Whitney said. “We’re really good friends, she rides a really good horse and we win. I’ve won more with Hope than anyone else, and there’s no pressure roping with her. We have fun, but we still take care of business. It just works.”


DeSalvo’s next roping goals?


“Logan Graham (who also was her BFI header this year) and I are going to try to make the Great Lakes Circuit Finals,” she said. “It’s also a goal to try and do better at the open ropings.


“I absolutely look forward to this roping. It being during BFI Week makes it even more prestigious. It just gives it a little bit cooler feeling, especially because the last couple years I’ve also entered The Feist.”


Who are these headliner women’s favorite ropers in the whole, wide world to watch?


“I always find myself watching Kaleb Driggers—the different horses he rides, and how his loops hit,” Hope said. “Lari Dee and I have gotten to talk to him about competing. Getting to ask him questions and getting his answers, then watching him put it into example is pretty cool.”


“Paul (Eaves) is probably my favorite to watch,” added Whitney. “I worked for him for a while, so I’ve gotten to watch his style a lot. I have a lot of respect for him as a person, and his work ethic. Paul has about as flawless a swing and position as anyone.”


Click here to view the full results.

Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping Results


  1.     Hope Thompson and Whitney Desalvo, 30.78 seconds on four head, worth $20,000
  2.     Rylea Rae Fabrizio and Debbie Fabrizio, 38.64 seconds on four head, worth $7,500
  3.     Dana Markham and Courtney Crites, 39.84 seconds on four head, worth $5,000
  4.     Kylee Herrin and Jessy Remsburg, 40.86 seconds on four head, worth $4,000
  5.     Emily Gately and Rylie Smith, 41.94 seconds on four head, worth $3,500
  6.     Kayelen Helton and Lorraine Moreno, 42.16 seconds on four head, worth $3,000
  7.     Casey Warford and Kersti Passig, 43.27 seconds on four head, worth $2,500
  8.     Deb Raulerson and Danielle Lowman, 43.55 seconds on four head, worth $1,750
  9.     Utah Ward and Danielle Lowman, 44.34 seconds on four head, worth $1,250
  10.   Kylee Herrin and Lorraine Moreno, 45.70 seconds on four head, worth $1,000


First Round:

  1.     Lari Dee Guy and Annette Stahl, 6.89-second run, worth $1,000
  2.     Alex Loiselle and Becky Cannizzaro, 7.16-second run, worth $800
  3.     Lari Dee Guy and Whitney Desalvo, 7.68-second run, worth $400


Second Round:

  1.     Morgan Sutrgeon and Whitney Desalvo, 6.03-second run, worth $1,000
  2.     Sarah Angelone and Rylie Smith, 6.06-second run, worth $800
  3.     Cadee Williams and Kim Grubbs, 6.11-second run, worth $400


Short Round:

  1.     Kelsey Barry and Jessica Johnson, 8.48-second run, worth $1,000
  2.     Utah Ward and Rylie Smith, 10.57-second run, worth $800



  1.     Kersti Passig and Lenay Willie, 27.42 seconds on three head, worth $7,500
  2.     Utah Ward and Danielle Lowman, 28.88 seconds on three head, worth $3,500
  3.     Deb Raulerson and Chelsey Bushnell, 28.92 seconds on three head, worth $2,500
  4.     Carly Wettlaufer and Ruby Magnus, 34.12 seconds on three head, worth $1,500


At Long Last, Team Rocha and Stewart Strike it Rich

Texans Manuel Rocha and Stephen Stewart had never before set foot in the fabulous Lazy E Arena. And in 15 years of trying, they had never won a check together. Not a nickel. On April 4, the pair of 4+ ropers and forever friends changed all that in dramatic fashion by roping four steers in 34.53 seconds and winning both the BFI 10.5 Roping and the 9.5 Incentive to the tune of $140,000 and a truckload of prizes. 


“They said we had to be 10 on our last steer,” said Rocha, who’ll turn 49 next month. “When I saw Stephen catch, and looked up at the big screen and it said 9.55, the tears rolled. I’m excited now, but I was very emotional at that moment. 


“We’ve roped together about 15 years, and this is the first time we’ve ever placed or even made a short round. We’ve texted each other good morning every day for 15 years. Stephen’s like my brother. We’ve got a great camaraderie and friendship, it just never clicked at the ropings.”


Texans Manuel Rocha and Stephen Stewart dominated the BFI 10.5 Roping, hauling off $120,000, Cactus Saddles, Heel-O-Matic Bones and Hox, Gist Buckles, Resistol Hats, YETI Roadies, Justin Boots and Cactus Ropes for the 10.5 win, and another $20,000, Cactus Saddles, Gist Buckles and YETI Carryalls for winning the 9.5 Incentive.
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Manuel’s a welder by trade. He lives about an hour south of San Antonio in Three Rivers, Texas with his wife, Jessica, and daughters, Addie and Elena, and has built the arena and barns on his heeler’s ranch. 


The BFI 10.5 was open only to ropers 40 and over. The 10.5 was capped at a 6.5 heeler, and the 9.5 was capped at a 5.5 heeler. 


Stewart, 56, lives in George West, Texas with his wife, Debbie. They have two sons, Lawrence and Dalton. 


“When we roped our third steer and they said we were high call, I knew we’d won the incentive,” Stephen said. “I told Manuel, and he teared up. We come from a small community, and we’ve roped a bunch together. We’d never placed before today, but we just kept giving her hell, because we knew this day would come and it would be this much more special.”


Reserve BFI 10.5 champs Brian Jeffreys and Jason Jones were 35.43 on four steers to finish just a tenth of a second behind Rocha and Stephens. Texans Jeffreys and Jones won $80,000, Cactus Saddlery Pads and Cactus Ropes.


Rocha headed on his 14-year-old gray horse, Shadow, who joined the family as a 4-year-old. Stewart heeled on a 10-year-old sorrel horse he calls Shorty that he bought from Daniel Braman.


It was a banner day and career best for both ropers. 


“This is the biggest win of my life by far,” Rocha beamed. “My biggest win before this and my last win before this was winning a 10.5 roping heeling five years ago, and we split $7,500. I don’t know how I can top this.”


“I won $20-some-thousand in the Incentive Average at the Gold Plus USTRC Roping in Gonzales, Texas, in 2015,” Stewart said. “That was my biggest win ever before today. Winning $70,000 at one roping is just unbelievable.”


BFI Watch Parties are a thing now, thanks to livestreaming on the Wrangler Network. 


Rocha and Stewart had never had any success together before their 34.53 on four steers won it all in the BFI 10.5. 
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“I have an awesome group of friends who were watching it live, so we were texting and talking about it on the phone during the roping,” Stewart said. “I grew up watching the BFI. It’s so cool that they’ve opened it up so there’s something for everybody and made a week of it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”


Stewart’s a freight broker by trade.


“I broker freight to 18-wheelers, and keep them loaded every day,” he said. “There’s really not a whole lot of time for roping, but this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. I figure I’m getting a little long in the tooth, so I better give it a whirl. If they’d let me pay my entry fees today for next year, I would.”


They’ve both roped most of their lives. 


“I’ve been roping since I was 14 years old,” Manuel said. “I won my first buckle in 1986 in the ribbon roping. I rope most days now, after I get my work done. As long as I can pay the bills, I get to rope. That’s my reward for working hard.”


First thought the Rochas have for their $70,000 is using some of it to remodel their bathroom. Manuel left the Lazy E for the first time with roping memories to last a lifetime.


“I love the Lazy E,” he said. “I’ve only seen this arena on TV when I watch the Timed Event. This is only the second time I’ve ever been to Oklahoma in my entire life. This place is amazing.”


For Stewart to still be horseback is against all odds.


“I started roping when I was 9 years old,” he said. “Then I had a car wreck when I was 26, and broke my neck in three places. There were eight back surgeries after that. But I just couldn’t quit roping. 


“It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a roping that made my hands shake, but this one definitely did. With all this money up and the whole world watching, I was nervous. As for the money, I think my wife already ran off with it.”


Click here to view full results from the 10.5 with 9.5 Incentive.

10.5 with 9.5 Incentive Results

Aggregate (on 4): 1. Manuel Rocha and Stephen Stewart, 34.53 seconds, $120,000; 2. Brian Jeffreys and Jason Jones, 35.43 seconds, $80,000; 3. Ferron Lucero and Perri Sanchez, 36.62 seconds, $60,000; 4. Sonny Anderson and Bubba Hartis, 37.51 seconds, $40,000; 5. Craig Moore and Dustin Payton, 37.84 seconds, $30,000; 6. Geg Graden and Guy Graden, 38.40 seconds, $20,000; 7. Nathan Coffelt and Chris Pomeroy, 38.52 seconds, $15,000; 8. Nicky Delgado and Kevin Parker, 38.68 seconds, $14,000; 9. Arnold Felts and Jahew Thorp, 39.45 seconds, $13,000; 10. Larry Rice and Alan Chappell, 39.63 seconds, $12,000; 11. Terry Butt and Cody Taton, 39.94 seconds, $11,000; 12. Bob Herrington and Scott Seiler, 40.35 seconds, $9,000; 14. Kenny Kuykendall and Scott Adrian, 41.56 seconds, $8,000; 15. Steve Hinson and Shane Holder, 43.57 seconds, $6,000; 16. Richard Nolen and Michael Raney, 43.71 seconds, $5,000


Incentive (on 3) : 1. Manual Rocha and Stephen Stewart, 24.98 seconds, $20,000; 2. Greg Graden and Guy W. Graden, 28.93 seconds, $12,000; 3. Xavier H. Villarreal and Hook Kindle, 30.64 seconds, $4,500; 4. Corey Sanchez and Trent W. Ward, 31.47 seconds, $8,000. 


First Round: 1. Corey Sanchez and Trent W. Ward, 6.15 seconds, $4,000; 2. Jeff Schieber and Hank Morgan, 7.12 seconds, $3,000; 3. Chick Wilfong and Cory Lloyd, 7.29 seconds, $2,500. 


Second Round: 1. Jack Foster and Clay Armstrong, 6.20 seconds, $4,000; 2. Xavier H. Villarreal and Benny Tamez, 6.76 seconds, $3,000; 3. (tie) Lonnie Cox and Travis Patterson, 6.86 seconds, $1,250; 3. (tie) B Rad Lands and Jon Cody Sanchez, 6.86 seconds. 

Short Round: 1. Kirby Hill and Tony Lang, 13.0 seconds, $4,000; 2. Brian S. Jeffreys and Jason Jones, 7.63 seconds, $3,000; 3 Terry Butt and Cody Taton, 8.03 seconds, $2,500.

Goforth and Anaya Do Work at BFI 11.5 Businessman’s Roping

The BFI 11.5 Businessman’s Roping is only open to ropers over 30, but Rusty Goforth and Andy Anaya have 100 years between them. For roping four steers in 34.19 seconds, the happy champs stormed the Lazy E Arena for $140,000 and the thrill of their roping lives. 


Goforth, who’s 40, is a 4+ header. He lives in Mineola, Texas, with his wife, Elizabeth, and kids, Bella, Luke, Levi and Grant.  


“This is great,” Rusty said. “I grew up watching the BFI all these years, but this is the first one I’ve gotten to come to since it moved to the Lazy E. This is a great honor.”


Anaya’s played on roping’s biggest stages. But as he gets set to turn 60, it’s been a minute since he’s stepped onto center stage.


“This is really big for me,” said 1989 Resistol Rookie Heeler of the Year Anaya, who grew up in Arizona and now lives in Canton, Texas. “I’ve never won anything this big. I’ve put in a lot of work, so this means a lot to me.” 

Rusty Goforth and Andy Anaya rode Paul and Spanky to the winner’s circle and a $140,000 payday at the BFI 11.5 Businessman’s Roping.
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It being a Businessman’s Roping and all, both of these guys do have day jobs. Goforth owns a feed store and fertilizer business in Mineola—Big Country Farm Center. 


“I started roping pretty young—when I was 10 or 12,” Rusty said. “But I took on my business at 22, back when I was a broke kid. So I didn’t rope for 10 or 12 years. I just started back up roping two years ago. I can take a little more time to rope now that my business is established.”


Anaya actually roped at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo over 30 years ago. That was half a life ago, and he heeled for Robert Scoggins. The BFI 11.5 Businessman’s Roping is capped at a 7 heeler, and Anaya is just that now. 


“What’s shocking to me is that I caught four in a row for this guy,” Andy grinned. “We’ve only roped together a few times. We’ve placed before, but I’ve also missed some steers for him.”


Anaya works for fellow team roper Brad Lands at Larrett Inc., which is a drilling company. Andy takes care of the horses and cattle as the ranch manager, and says Brad is surely in the running for the best boss award. 


“My boss wants to rope more than I do,” Anaya said. “Brad and I rope every day, and sometimes Tyler Wade and Tate Kirchenschlager come rope with us. Brad is totally devoted to roping. He wears me out. He’s in it to win it.”


Goforth and Anaya came from third high callback behind Joe Beaver and David Markham, and Mark Calagna and Justin Saulters. And yes—that’s THE Joe Beaver, the ProRodeo Hall of Famer. Both of those teams finished in the top 10. 


Second to Goforth and Anaya in the average were Jeff Schieber and Nathan Golay. They were 34.47 to Rusty and Andy’s 34.19, and went home with $90,000, Cactus Saddlery Pads and Cactus Ropes. Three-Steer Consolation Average winners Mel Smith and Larry Cox won $7,500 and Cactus Saddlery Pads. 


But in the end, this was Rusty Goforth and Andy Anaya Day. 

For roping four steers in 34.19 seconds, Goforth and Anaya scored $140,000, Cactus Saddles, Heel-O-Matic Bones and Hox, Gist Buckles, Resistol Hats, YETI Roadies, Justin Boots, Cactus Ropes, Texas Saddlery Briefcases and HATPACS. 
Andersen CbarC Photo

“I really enjoy roping,” said Goforth, who rode his 13-year-old gray horse, Paul, on game day. “I want to win, but it’s not how I make my living. That said, I don’t do it just for fun, and I do want it to pay for itself. Winning $70,000 is great money. But being able to win first at this roping is just an unbelievable honor. This is crazy.


“We come to several ropings a year here at the Lazy E, and I’ve always had pretty good luck here. This place has been great to me.”


Anaya roped in the BFI a few times. He took that in this year from upstairs in the Ropers Cantina with fellow NFR team roper George Aros. Boss Brad and Andy are partners on the 8-year-old bay horse Anaya won the roping on. They call him Spanky. 


This was an emotional win for Andy.


“I grew up poor,” he said. “Without roping, I might be dead. It’s all I’ve ever done. Roping’s been my passion all my life. My whole family watched this (on the Wrangler Network), and they’re all bawling. I only wish my sister was here to see this.”


Andy lost his little sister, Sandra, to colon cancer at 40.


“Losing my baby sister is the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me,” he said. “Sandra roped, and she would be so happy right now. She was my biggest fan. I just wish she was here. My nephew Michael, who’s Sandra’s son, is like a son to me. He’s 30 now, he ropes and he’s my biggest fan now.


“I’ve been to the Lazy E a lot of times in my life. But I hadn’t been here in a really long time. It’s just a beautiful facility. I can’t believe I just won $70,000. I’m sure I’ll spend it roping. All I know is if a guy’s going to rope, he needs to be at this roping. This is unbelievable.”


Click here to read the full results. 

11.5 Businessman’s Results

Aggregate (on 4): 1. Rusty Goforth and Andy Anaya, 34.19 seconds, $140,000; 2. Jeff Schieber and Nathan Golay, 34.47 seconds, $90,000; 3. Samuel Livingston and Danny Zuniga, 34.76 seconds, $58,000; 4. LaRaye Stipes and David Walker, 36.75 seconds, $30,000; 5. Barry Berg and Dustin Noblitt, 36.76 seconds, $20,000; 6. Ernie Cordova and Chance Kiehne, 38.1 seconds, $15,000; 7. Joe Beaver and David Markham, 38.88 seconds, $12,000; 8. Ricky Schultz and Jesse DeBord, 38.39 seconds, $10,000; 9. Mike Row and Steve Harrison, 38.41 seconds, $9,000; 10. Mark Calagna and Justin Saulters, 38.63 seconds, $8,500; 11. Chick Wilfong and Billy Simmons, 39.07 seconds, $8,500; 12. Justin Turner and Seth Schafer, 39.79 seconds, $8,000; 13. Anna Gregory and John Gregory, 40.14 seconds, $8,000. 


Consolation Average (on 3): 1. Mel Smith and Larry Cox, 21.64 seconds, $7,500; 2. Ricky Bolin and Brock Middleton, 23.47 seconds, $6,000; 3. Beverly Robbins and Guy W. Graden, 23.59 seconds, $4,000; 4. Tish Luke and Harrison Teixeira, 23.82 seconds, $3,000; 5. Xavier H. Villarreal and Jesse Beam, 24.99 seconds, $2,000.


First Round: 1. Kyndall K Bates and Dustin Darling, 6.18 seconds, $5,000; 2. Cody Stutenkemper and Chris Pomeroy, 7.02 seconds, $3,500; 3. Shane Dockrey and Daniel Chartney, 7.32 seconds, $1,500


Second Round: 1. Rusty Carter and Ryan Victory, 6.12 seconds, $5,000; 2. Matt Raulston and Bradley Ball, 6.29 seconds, $3,500; 3. Gaylon Robinson and Scott Morlan, 6.48 seconds, $1,500


Third Round: 1. Joe Rios and Bobby Simmons, 6.35 seconds, $5,000; 2. Ryan T. Benton and Shaun Berry, 6.41 seconds, $3,500; 3. Mike Woolven and Dennis Moore, 6.43 seconds, $1,500.


Short Round: 1.Herman Wheaton and David Miller, 8.14 seconds, $5,000; 2. Cameron Southard and Tooter Silver, 11.57 seconds, $3,500; 3. Brandon Foster and Gary Hughes, 13.71 seconds, $1,500