Well, here it is June and time for the 35th annual Bob Feist Invitational and I am getting ready to go up and enjoy the event and for the first time, not be the man at the controls. As most of you know, I sold the BFI last September and have been working with the new owners (Ullman and Peterson Events) to make sure that everything goes well for the 35th annual. The list is in for this year’s contestants and the field looks great as usual with many new names on the roster. At this writing, there are 23 returning champions in this year's line up and they are all partnered well enough to capture another title. The only ropers that are partnered as a former winning team are David Motes and Denny Watkins, who won this event in 1981 in Las Vegas, Nev. These two champions still have the skill and horsepower to win another BFI. All the other returning champions are roping with someone different than who they previously won the BFI with.
Watkins is also returning to the BFI for his 35th consecutive time having attended all events since its inception. Two other ropers, Mike Beers and Allen Bach, will also return to the roping for the 35th time. All of these returning ropers have won this roping in the past.
Walt Woodard will not compete this year after competing in 34 BFI’s and claiming the title in 2008 while heeling for Clay Tryan.
Mike Beers will be with World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote who has been tuning up his team roping skills and has been entering more PRCA rodeos in the team roping to build up some All-Around points. So far he is in second in that race behind Trevor Brazile. Bobby is striving to make the Wrangler National Finals in the team roping and knowing how dedicated he is, it just might happen.
Trevor Brazile will again be teamed up with Patrick Smith for this years BFI. Smith has won this event before heeling for Clay Tryan in 2005. This is a solid team and would be one of my picks for the winners circle this year. Every year I get ask who would be my favorite to win the roping and that is a hard question to answer. There isn’t to many weak teams in this roping and as all of you know the ropers must be mounted and be able to score good under the conditions that exist at the BFI.
It is good to see that over 63% of the teams entered in this years roping are sponsored by folks who believe in there ability to rope at a roping of this caliber. Some of the ropers have other endorsements and don’t list a sponsor. It is good to see some new sponsors this year on the roster. If you are interested in sponsoring a team in the future, contact the BFI headquarters to find out how it all works.
Back in my competing days, I remember that if your day got tapped off right it seemed like you could do no wrong and this is one of the reasons I made the BFI a one day event. If you feel good about yourself, your horse, your partner, and draw good, it could be the day you have dreamed about. This roping win is a life changing win for anybody and it can set one up for the rest of the year and in some cases for life.
I hope you all have made your reservations at the Silver Legacy to attend this years 35th BFI. If you haven’t, get on the phone today and call today at 1-800-686-8733. Be sure to ask for the BFI rate and stay where all the action is during the BFI and the Reno Rodeo. They will again have buses running to and from the arena all day long so you can go door to door from the hotel to the Reno Livestock Events Center. This year’s code is BFI12. You can also go online at www.silverlegacyreno.com.
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I am off to Bishop Mule Days show with Bob Tallman and Steve Kenyon. This is always a good week and we get to see a lot of good mules compete in about every event you can imagine. The town is booming with mule lovers and folks just looking to have a good time. Come on up and join us for some good old fashion fun in the atmosphere of the Eastern Sierras.
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Good luck to all of the high school contestants who will soon be headed to their state championships this next month. On the west coast the California State Finals will again be held in the town of Bishop, Calif., where there are many things to do if you’re there as a spectator or contestant or parent.
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See you in Reno around BFI and Reno Rodeo time!!!!

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