June is always my favorite month as it is the Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) month and time to go to the Silver Legacy in Reno. The Silver Legacy is again the host hotel for the BFI and a key sponsor for the Reno Rodeo. The Legacy is the place to be if you want to rub elbows with the top cowboys and cowgirls during BFI and Reno Rodeo week. Sunday, June 17, will be the welcome reception for the BFI at the Silver Legacy and is open to the public. If you get to Reno early, come by and check out all the BFI merchandise in the main lobby of the Silver Legacy. Make your plans now to attend this year’s event by calling the Silver Legacy at 1-800-687-7733. Be sure to ask for the special BFI rate.

June is always my favorite month as it is the Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) month and time to go to the Silver Legacy in Reno. The Silver Legacy is again the host hotel for the BFI and a key sponsor for the Reno Rodeo. The Legacy is the place to be if you want to rub elbows with the top cowboys and cowgirls during BFI and Reno Rodeo week. Sunday, June 17, will be the welcome reception for the BFI at the Silver Legacy and is open to the public. If you get to Reno early, come by and check out all the BFI merchandise in the main lobby of the Silver Legacy. Make your plans now to attend this year’s event by calling the Silver Legacy at 1-800-687-7733. Be sure to ask for the special BFI rate.

This year’s contestant list includes some of the best ropers in the world, as well as many past world champions and BFI champions. There are also some up-and-coming ropers who are first timers at the event who will try their skills against some of the seasoned veterans. This year will also welcome back Mike Beers and Denny Watkins, who have been to all of the BFIs since it started in 1977 in Chowchilla, Calif. Both of these veterans have won the title before. Beers won the roping in 1987 with Dee Pickett and Watkins won the title in 1981 with David Motes. Walt Woodard and Allen Bach used to be on this list until missing the roster a few years back. Woodard will be entered this year with Matt Sherwood and this team has been on a roll this year, showing no signs of losing their touch when it comes to winning big money. This team will be a favorite for sure. Beers will be teamed with Jace Johnson and Watkins will be teamed with Caden Clay. 

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The spring run of Pro Rodeos is in full swing out on the West Coast and most of the top contestants are out here competing. So far the weather has been pretty decent at most of the competitions and travel has been good. When I say travel has been good, that doesn’t include traveling on the Calilfornia highways. I am embarrassed at the condition of our roads within the state of California. We pay the highest fuel taxes in the country and yet have the worst roads. As I was traveling on Interstate 5 this past month, I was overwhelmed at all of the potholes and broken-down areas on the road. It is hard to go any distance and not see rubber from damaged tires on the side of the road. If you are pulling a trailer, the law says you are to stay in the right-hand lane except to pass. Well, this is the worst lane of all and is damaged to the point that it is dangerous. I notice when I cross the state line into neighboring states the roads improve even in states that have far worse weather conditions than we do in California. Last year an increase was once again added to our fuel prices and is supposed to be allocated solely to road repair. I don’t see how this state can ever catch up to the damage that is within our road inventory. My apologies to all out-of-staters who have to travel on our damaged highways and hopefully you make it out of here on the tires you came in with. I think if all the politicians who work in Sacramento had to drive to work, they would get the picture a little better. It’s hard to know the conditions of our highways when you’re sitting in a plane dreaming of a high speed train.

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The World Championship Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) is off and running and has an interesting concept about counting all the money you win in your event, regardless of where and with what organization. This concept has some merit and as I have said in the past, anything new in the rodeo business is a thought that could change the way things have been done in the past. I always welcome new thinking and try and evaluate each with a positive attitude as to how it could help our sport. I have been toying with the idea of doing something like this for team roping the past few years. The concept shows who is the best hand and who is winning the most in his or her event, regardless of where they won it. Crowning a world champion in just one organization at a time does not display the real talent and earnings of a contestant. 

If you get a chance, check out some of the facts about the WCRA (see story on page 43) and make your own decision whether it is good or bad for the industry. It would allow many of our big roping events to count for world standings in the different divisions. It has some good points and like with any other new idea, there are questions that come to mind to the old school competitor. 

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Be sure to check out all the results in this issue including the James Pickens, Jr. results from Clovis, Calif. Lane Karney has penned another great piece that starts on page 1. The California High School Rodeo Association Finals are this month, too. Congratulations to all the young contestants who made their state finals in their events.

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During Memorial Day Weekend I was in Bishop, Calif., for the annual Mule Days Celebration. This is a great event and I share the microphone with my old partners Bob Tallman and Steve Kenyon. This is one of my favorite events of the year and if you have never been, you need to put it on your bucket list. 

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Was very sad to hear about Red St. Clair passing at the recent Livermore, Calif., World Series Roping at Basso’s Arena. Red had just placed in the #8  and had a good day of roping. RIP Red. 

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I still feel that timed events are in jeopardy in the future of rodeo, mainly because of the cost. A rough stock rider can gather equipment for a fraction of the cost that a timed event person has put up to go down the road. This is hurting our up-and-coming youth in our industry because unless a young person comes from a ranching family or a family that has been in the horse business, it is very expensive to start out from scratch and become a timed event competitor. The equipment is one thing, and then there is where to keep the horse and learn the skills it takes to be on a competitive basis. I challenge any person who has the time and equipment to help out some young competitors showing an interest in timed events. I can see in the future someone may have a barn of horses they could provide seats on for those wanting to compete. An up-front fee would have to be charged to the rider to make this work for the provider. I can see that there would be different levels of horses you could rent. I envision that one provider may have horses to fit all of the timed events and may bring many horses to events for the novice and experienced rider to mount. This would be a great way for some of our past competitors to stay involved in the rodeo business. It would also help out the parking at some of the events too, in that one rig could bring many horses, eliminating each contestant having a large rig hauling sometimes only one horse. Just another wild idea. 

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Walt Rodman is bringing a Junior NFR team roping qualifier to northern California next month (see ad on page 44 for details). The huge success of one of these ropings held at the Broc Cresta Memorial last month shows the need to showcase the the future of our sport. BFI week will also feature a Junior NFR qualifier. We look forward to both.

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Look foward to seeing everyone in Reno, safe travels. 

  

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