Just got back from the 37th Bob Feist Invitational held Monday, June 23, in Reno, Nevada, and, wow, what a great roping this year on a lot stronger pen of cattle than last year.

It is a lot different for me these days, as I can actually watch the roping, as before when I was producing the event I was very occupied making sure all was going smoothly.

One of the big changes that was in play this year was no wing panel at the stripping chute. The cattle came right straight down the arena and out to the stripping chute. I was concerned about this at the beginning of the roping, when some teams were having trouble.

After the first 25 teams ran there were 11 teams out of the roping with six of them being put out by the headers. Most of them were just late playing it safe at the barrier and got outrun on these hard-running cattle over the 18 foot score in the 281 foot arena. As I have always said, the BFI is a combination of roping, horsemanship and mental execution of the entire run. This has to be practiced on all six steers but it seems some of these younger ropers only have the small-score, be fast mentality and that doesn’t work in this kind of roping.

As the first round continued, it was evident that the ropers with the better head horses along with good scoring were making the best runs. Some were halfway down the arena and were making nice 7-second runs.

Seasoned ropers like J.D. Yates did not draw that good on the first steer, but he went and made the best of it and took a time of 12.14 clean. He and his son Trey came back and never made any mistakes on the next five steers and ended up fifth in the average. That was smart roping and veteran heading by the past BFI champion.

This year I saw more headers putting teams out than ever before with the biggest putouts coming in the fifth round when the leaders in the roping, Trevor Brazile and Travis Graves, went out when Trevor picked up a front foot in the head catch. Another header who picked up a front leg was Riley Minor, who was sitting good with his brother. They did win the first round with a time of 6.26. Another header putting out a great team was Jake Barnes, who had roped a super roping for his popular heeler, Junior Nogueira. This team had been a crowd favorite all day up until Jake roped a front leg in the short round.

In fact a new record was set in the short round, which was the top 15 teams, when the four teams that did go out of the roping were all because of headers missing.

All in all it was a great roping and I do feel for Clay Tryan who could have captured his third BFI title and would have increased his high money earnings at the BFI, but unfortunately his heeler, Jade Corkill, came up empty on their fifth steer. 

Congratulations to the new BFI champions, Drew Horner of Plano, Texas, and Buddy Hawkins II of Columbus, Kansas. Enjoy your victory of the BFI.

Be sure and catch all of the results in this issue and order your BFI DVD through Rodeo Video (see ad on page 9 of this issue).

Congratulations to Ullman-Peterson Events and all their staff for carrying on a great tradition. A special thanks to the wives of Corky Ullman (Kristi), and Daren Peterson (Kami) for all of their efforts and understanding of this great event.

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