“Wow!” is the word that describes the 2018 short go of the Bob Feist Invitational. Of all the years I have watched the short rounds of the BFI, this was by far one of the most exciting I have ever witnessed. It made anyone watching admire the horsemanship and roping ability the contestants displayed. A tip of my Resistol to all those who were fortunate enough to make it back to the short round.
A number of great teams seemed to be on their way to the short round up until the fifth round. Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith looked good until these past champions went out then, along with past winners Jake Barnes and Rich Skelton. Jake Smith (named after Jake Barnes) also ran into trouble in the fifth round after he and partner Jesse Stipes, who were very good on four, took a no time.
The whole day of the BFI was full of excitement from the start of the day at 8 a.m. The first round saw JD Yates and Kyle Lockett win the round with a 6.23, which gave the team $8,000 and put them off to a good start. Calvin Brevik and Kory Bramwell won the second round with a 5.61. After the second round, it went to the 4-second runs with Lane Ivy and Blaine Vick winning the third round with a 4.53. The fourth round was won by Max Kutler and Brandon Bates with a rapid 4.27 which was just 6 hundredths off the record held by Spencer Mitchell and Dakota Kirchenschlager with a 4.21 set in 2013.
I was so impressed with this year’s winners and their style of roping. The winning team of Chris Francis and Cade Passig roped the way the BFI was designed, showing good horsemanship and roping skills. This team breaks in roping cattle for a living and proved that roping right and not necessarily fast, will win you a lot of money. They were so consistent on their runs and just did things right. It was awesome to watch. Be sure and catch all of the results in this issue of RSN.
Some of the heel shots that stood out to me were the shots taken by Cody Cowden, Russell Cardoza and Junior Nogueria. These three made shots during the roping that I thought they missed and came up with two feet. The strong hard running steers provide by the Twisselman family proved to be a challenge to those who were not mounted properly. On the whole most of the ropers were mounted outstanding and it was a great roping to watch. Congratulations to Ullman and Peterson Events for producing such a classy event.
One family name that stands out when it comes to the BFI is the Smith family from Broken Bow, Okla. I remember those kids when they came to one of the first dummy ropings in Las Vegas, Nev. during the WNFR. The event was produced by Judy Wales Gillum and was held at one of the trade shows in Vegas. That year it happened to be at the Sands and their dad brought them out from Oklahoma. Now you have to realize that dad had never been far from home before and this was quite a venture. The boys always roped good there and over the years took home some first place saddles. Now, many years later, they are consistently in the winners circle and Clay has been leading the PRCA standings for most of this season. Clay has placed deep in the BFI more than once and this year again picked up a third place check with partner Paul Eaves. Jake Smith has also shined at this roping and for awhile this year it looked like he and his partner, Jesse Stipes had things going until the fifth round.
The youngest brother of the Smith family put his mark on the BFI history book with a win at this year’s Jr. Open BFI. Britt Smith, along with partner Carson Johnson, won the roping with a 28.13 on four head. They also won two of the rounds and Carson won another round with his other partner, Kal Fuller. I’m sure we are going to see the Smith name in the winner’s circle for many years. The boys all help on the family ranch which is known for producing great roping horses.
Congratulations to Molly Hepper and Marlow Eldridge for winning the #12 High Desert Showdown on Tuesday of the BFI week. The team was 34.07 on four head of the good cattle provided by Steve Simons. They split $60,000.
BFI week had several roping events and was well attended by many. Full results of the #12 and Reno Million are in this issue, and other results will be in the August issue of RSN. It was nice to see all of the other team roping publications on hand at the BFI along with the Wrangler Network who live streamed most of the events.
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Got to travel to Santa Maria, Calif. this past month and announce the Teixeira roping event that was held in conjunction with the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo. It was a great roping and saw the talent of Ryan Reed and Wyatt Hansen take top honors beating out many of the top ropers who were in attendance for the Elks Rodeo. Many of the top team ropers were out of the state and had gone to a big roping in North Dakota.
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Congratulations to all those who did well at the CNFR that took place in Casper, Wyo. and good luck to all of those high school kids going to Nationals.
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I am headed back to Steamboat Springs to attend the celebration of life for my long-time friend Jack Romick who passed away last month. He and his wife Janie spent many years out in California ranching in both Oroville and Taylorsville. Jack was the father of Lance, Brent and Jace Romick. I’m sure many good ol’ Jack stories will be told at the celebration. RIP my friend.