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.
Andersen CbarC Photo
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.”