This year’s Bob Feist Invitational made for the toughest short round in BFI history—with less than three seconds separating first from 15th. By now, you all likely know that Oklahoma’s Jake Cooper Clay and Billie Jack Saebens got the win and $150,000 from third callback.
We caught up with them at the end of the grueling day at the Lazy E Arena April 2 to talk about where this win falls in the grand scheme of their careers.
For Jake Cooper Clay, as you’ll hear, this is his second major victory to the tune of $150,000. He won the Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale’s #15.5 heeling for eventual NFR header Brenten Hall back in 2016, taking home $75,000 per man. But since then, Cooper has been working the sale barns and riding horses, fighting his way up the heading and partner ranks.
Clay and Saebens paired up after the Fourth of July in 2021, after Saebens—a two-time NFR heeler who’s ridden the AQHA Horse of the Year and two past horses of the BFI—had swapped to heading early that year. Saebens was getting his butt kicked by the young gun Clay at the local jackpots, so he gave in and asked him to rope. Hear their stories and more on this episode brought to you by ADM Animal Nutrition.