PHOENIX, Arizona, May 8, 2020 – The most anticipated Monday of the year in Western sports will still happen – it just won’t occur on June 22 nor will it be in Reno, Nevada.
Organizers of the world’s richest Open roping – the Bob Feist Invitational – have for decades worked closely with the Reno Rodeo, held on the same grounds each June. This spring, the Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West has taken the lead on decisions forced this year by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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When its committee announced today the cancellation of the 2020 Reno Rodeo, BFI owners Corky Ullman and Daren Peterson decided that rather than cancel for the first time since 1982, they would honor Bob Feist’s original concept 44 years ago of promising professional ropers a lucrative event and fans a great show. In its years of running, it was only in 1982 that it was canceled. The BFI has seen homes in Chowchilla, CA, Denton, TX, Las Vegas, NV and has been in Reno since 1983. For 2020, Wrangler BFI Week presented by YETI will find a new home.
“We are simply postponing instead of canceling,” said Ullman. “We’ve watched with dismay as professional ropers have had all their rodeos and Open events canceled for three months now, and we want to make sure these guys at least still have the BFI.”
Over 42 events, the BFI has paid professional ropers $11,758,207, and the former Reno Rodeo Invitational ropings have paid out millions annually, as well, to America’s amateur ropers. The entire lineup of Wrangler BFI Week will remain on the postponed schedule, including the Hooey Jr. Championships, the 12.5 and 11.5 ropings, the 9.5 and 10.5 Over 40 ropings and the All Girl Challenges.
The roping extravaganza and informal kick-off to the summer jackpotting season was scheduled for June 20-25. Now, Ullman and Peterson are working hard to secure a date a few months from now in 2020.
“We are hoping to not alter any aspect of BFI Week,” said Peterson, “including the BFI’s tradition of donating proceeds for Veterans to the host community. And of course the big payout for the ropers and the incredible prize line, along with keeping the fans on their seats while watching the best of the best compete for the title of The Feist Champion will be part of Wrangler BFI Week presented by YETI.”
To keep up date on new dates and location, follow BFI’s social media on Facebook and Instagram or www.bfiweek.com.