Roster set for next month’s BFI, Reno Million

Wrangler BFI Week includes youngest-ever BFI entrant, plus barrier and cattle changes to the million-dollar #11, a new check-in party and live streaming.

RENO, Nev. (Dec. 16, 2016)– The 40th edition of the world’s richest one-day Open roping is just a few weeks away, on June 19-22.

The 40th Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) Week, produced by Ullman-Peterson Events and bearing a new title sponsorship by Wrangler, will feature two BFI cowboys who’ve entered all 40 editions of the prestigious BFI – Dennis Watkins and Mike Beers (honorable mentions go to Allen Bach and Walt Woodard, who’ve each roped at 39).

Beers is justone of several BFI veterans who are partnered with a BFI rookie this year in hopes of winning a six-figure paycheck. The

1984 world champ will heel for Montana’s Jace Johnson, who won a $100,000 team roping in March at just 14 years old. J.D.

Yates, also, is bringing a first-timer in Brazilian rope-horse trainer Rafael Paoliello (Trey Yates will heel for 26-year-old all-around hand Seth Hall).

Two of the mostoutstanding first-time entrants are just 18. Paden Bray, who in February won the Semi-Finals of RFD-TV’s The American, will heel for NFR header Justin Davis, while Jake Clay Cooper, who in December won the $150,000 WSTR Finale #15 in Las Vegas, will head for defending RNCFR champion Jesse Stipes.

Plenty ofother interesting pairings will keep fans on the edge of their seats, as Derrick Begay plans to spin for Kyle Lockett; the always well-mounted Rhen Richard will head for eight-time world champ Rich Skelton, and rodeo partners Matt Sherwood and Walt Woodard will attempt to add a 2017 BFI championship to their four collective gold buckles. They’ll all be hard-pressed to unseat the hottest team in rodeo right now – Erich Rogers and Cory Petska – who also won “The Feist” in 2015.

Below areother new features that fans and ropers can expect during Wrangler BFI Week:

Tweaks to the Reno Million

  • No rope barrier! The roping will

feature a World Series of Team Roping start.

  • No BFI cattle! Contestants will rope sorted cattle

that did NOT come from the fresh BFI herd.

A Toast to the Ladies:

  • The check-in for the All Girl Challengewill include a wine reception hosted by Purple Cowboy, where the first 100 attendees will receive a special goody from Sonora Insurance.

New Ropings:

  • Get a seat for the brand-new #12 High Desert Showdown on Wednesday, with $10,000 added to the purse by Wrangler for ropers over 21.
  • Check out thecountry’s best female calf ropers during thebrand-new breakaway jackpot, to follow the All-Girl Team Roping on Thursday.

Watch it Live:

  • Not in Reno thisJune? WranglerNetwork.com will live-stream the BFI and affiliated ropings for the first time as part of the Wrangler title sponsorship in 2017.

Including the Reno Rodeo and payoffs at the week’s additional amateur WSTR competitions off-site, the collective athlete purse during Wrangler BFI Week now nears $3.6 million.

For more information, visit www.BFIWeek.com. Hotel reservations with special roper rates starting at $54 are available at the Silver Legacy Resort, the Eldorado, and Circus Circus with rate code BFI17.