Adding a longer scoreline this year with the BFI in the 300-foot Lazy E Arena made for possibly the best showcase of head horses since the Chowchilla days of “the Feist.” The two awards are customized and finished now – the most prestigious awards of the annual BFI – and ready to be sent to the Francis and Yates families who owned the best BFI horses this year.
This Montana Silversmiths 2020 Head Horse of the BFI award is claimed by Francis for his horse Ima Monte Leo. Francis won the 2018 BFI on “Dude” and placed seventh at the Lazy E this summer to split $27,000.
“Dude” is 13 and in his prime. He beat out a field of head horses that included the other sorrel powerhouse ridden by defending champ Kal Fuller.
“He was probably the easiest horse there,” said Francis. “Anybody there could have climbed on him and won something.”
He bought the horse in 2017 from Kaleb Driggers, and Dude had been ridden over the years by Zayne Dishion and Matt Tyler, as well.
The other trophy is ready to head to Pueblo, Colorado, thanks to Trey Yates’ prowess aboard In The Nic Of Shine.
The black gelding called “Tux” was purchased by J.D. Yates at the World Show one year from Nebraska’s Jim Bounds. You can head, heel and rope calves on the gelding. It marks the fourth time one of these bronzes has gone to the Yates family (for two head horses and two heel horses now).
“It’s a pretty special award because that’s what we do every day here – try to make good horses and rope sharp,” said Trey.
Tux, 14, is double-bred Genuine Doc. He’s by a Reminic stallion crossed on Genuine Redbud, and out of an own daughter of Shining Spark that also goes back to Smart Chic Olena and Doc’s Lynx.