For the second straight year in Reno, Nevada, on June 22, team ropers under 18 years old will compete during Wrangler BFI Week presented by Yeti, in the same arena as the pros. The kids’ version of the Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) happens just two days prior to the world’s richest professional team roping.
But at this year’s Hooey Jr. BFI Championships, a top-five finish guarantees a berth at the 2019 Jr. World Finals Rodeo (formerly Jr. NFR) in Las Vegas in December. Instead of hauling around the country chasing points toward qualifications to Las Vegas, youth ropers can now just come to Reno and place at the Hooey Jr. BFI and/or the Jr. World qualifiers held with the World Series event the day prior.
The first opportunity for junior ropers happens on Friday, June 21, northeast of Reno at Ironwood Events Center, where the full day of California Shootout World Series ropings kicks off with the Jr. Open and Jr. 10.5 events. The top three finishers from those ropings will automatically gain Jr. World Finals berths.
The next day, the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center will host the second annual Hooey Jr. BFI Championships, from which the top five finishers will gain berths directly into the Jr. World Finals. Check-in for this year’s Jr. BFI is Saturday at 9:30 a.m., and the ropings begin at noon. On June 22, kids will be roping not only for coveted slots at the Jr. World Finals, but for the legendary Jr. BFI prizeline that includes cash and awards in go-rounds and the average – such as $20,000 for first place, plus Cactus saddles, Montana Silversmiths buckles, YETI prizes, Resistol hats, and Heel-O-Matic prizes. Plus, this year the average champs will earn a one-year product endorsement with Wrangler and Corral Boots!
The BFI Junior Open is open to any classification and the BFI Junior #10.5 is capped at 6 heelers. The 10.5 roping is a four-steer average, progressive after three, while the Open will be a five-steer average, progressive on four. The ropings are 80 percent payback and feature rope barriers. Contestants must be 17 or younger as of January 1, 2019, and must be pre-entered by June 1.
2018 Hooey BFI Jr. Championship #10 Average Champions Jett Stewart and Brayden Schmidt winning $15,000