The year is quickly coming to an end in regards to qualifying for many of the finals, both in rodeo and team roping associations. It has been a great push for ropers and barrel racers as they try to qualify for their respective events.
The biggest news on the PRCA team roping front is the strong finish of the team of Derrick Begay and Cesar de la Cruz who won both Pendleton and Omaha this past month. The money earned was enough to push them into the number one position in the PRCA standings. These were big wins for this team, they almost doubled their earnings in one month.
As this year of 2011 comes to a close I look back on all of the changes that have taken place. The selling of the Bob Feist Invitational was a major move for me as it has been my baby since 1977. I am excited about the new ownership and feel they are on a good track to making this year’s roping bigger and better than ever. The BFI was introduced to the roping world nine years after the start up of the Ropers Sports News which first came out in 1968. I have had some great people on my staff. They have helped make all of this be the success it is today and I would like to thank all of them for their hard work and dedication.
Happy New Year to all of you out there in roper-land and congratulations to new world champions of the PRCA, Turtle Powell and Jhett Johnson. This team out-did the field at the Wrangler National Finals by winning the average and placing in eight of the 10 rounds. This team was one of three that roped nine of their 10 steers at the WNFR and did it in a time of 57.90 to finish 15 seconds ahead of the second place team in the average, Jake Barnes and Walt Woodard.
I have given over two weeks of thought before writing about the WNFR team roping because of the bad showing AGAIN in the team roping. I am sorry, but when you put 30 of supposedly the best team ropers in the rodeo business in a competition to see who the best is, and they miss over a third of their cattle, I have a problem with it.
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.