“Jake and Clay” headline BFI entries, Jr. BFI to send 10 teams to Las Vegas
PHOENIX, Arizona, June 4, 2019 – ProRodeo Hall-of-Fame team ropers Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper will reteam for the 42nd edition of the Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) on June 24 in Reno, Nevada. The pair of roping legends won seven world titles together and won the BFI in 1988.
The BFI is the richest Open roping in the world, and will feature 108 of the world’s best professional teams competing over six rounds for more than $600,000 in cash and prizes. The event anchors Wrangler BFI Week presented by Yeti, June 22-29, and boasts several other superstar teams in addition to Barnes and Cooper.
For instance, 1981 BFI champs David Motes and Dennis Watkins (with 41 NFR qualifications between them) will also reteam in Reno. The field includes defending BFI champs Chris Francis and Cade Passig, as well as Clay Tryan with Travis Graves – who have four BFI championships between them. A handful of world champs are roping together, too. Gold-buckle partners this year include Aaron Tsinigine with Patrick Smith, and Clay Smith with Jade Corkill. Smith’s two younger brothers are also entered together. Both Britt Smith and Carson Johnson – last year’s Hooey BFI Jr. champions – are entered in the actual BFI this year with their brothers.
A first-timer this year at the BFI is Wyatt Imus, 21, who will rope with fellow Texan Reno Gonzales. Imus is the son of radio personality and TV host Don Imus, 79, longtime host of Imus in the Morning on Fox Business Network. The latter was raised on an Arizona ranch and now owns a ranch in Brenham, Texas.
The 2019 Hooey BFI Jr. Championships will launch Wrangler BFI Week on Saturday, June 22, during which the top five teams earn qualifications directly to December’s Jr. World Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The annual BFI welcome reception at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino is scheduled for Sunday evening, followed by Monday’s BFI. The Wrangler National Patriot #11.5 follows on Tuesday, boasting a six-figure first-place payout per man, and Wednesday watch for the brand-new Cactus #9.5 Over 40 and the #12 High Desert Showdown. Wrapping up the week is the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Challenge on Thursday – again expected to be the highest-paying women’s roping in America.
This year’s local BFI Week activities coincide with the storied Reno Rodeo’s 100th anniversary celebration. Together the two events, plus World Series competitions off-site boasting the largest payoffs in their history, will bring the collective athlete purse in Reno that week to roughly $3.75 million.
Visit http://www.BFIWeek.com for more information. Reservations with special roper rates starting at $54 are available at the Silver Legacy Resort, Eldorado Resort, and Circus Circus Reno by using rate code BFI19.
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You know you’re having a pretty solid career when, at any given regular-season rodeo, you draw a good rough stock animal and can say: “Oh yeah, I remember him. I rode him at the National…