(Photo Caption: World champs Speed William and Matt Sherwood combined last year to win $40,000 and custom briefcases in the BFI Legends jackpot. BFI photo by Andersen C Bar C.)
The world’s richest Open roping, featuring the 125 best professional teams over six rounds, occurs on a Saturday smack in the middle of Wrangler BFI Week, presented by Yeti. In 2023, the extravaganza has been extended to seven full days – March 29 through April 4.
“We paid out $2.88 million in cash last year at Wrangler BFI Week, and look for some record-breaking payouts in Oklahoma now with the addition of three ropings,” said Daren Peterson, who owns the BFI with his wife, Kami Peterson, and Corky and Kristi Ullman.
On Tuesday, April 4, the producers have added brand-new 9.5-Over-40, 8.5 and 7 ropings. In the 9.5, you can be 40 anytime in 2023, and it’s capped at 5.5 heelers. The 8.5 and 7 ropings are pick-or-draw, capped at 4.5 and 4 ropers, respectively, and are progressive after two with age minimums of at 21.
Find schedule details and entry forms for those and the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping and Breakaway, Hooey Jr. BFI Championships, BFI Legends for past BFI ropers over 40, 15.5, 12.5, 11.5 Businessman’s and 10.5-Over-40 ropings at www.bfiweek.com. Entries will be taken on-site with a $100 per team late fee, or postmark by March 1.
And on March 31, in the Equinety Arena (the warm-up arena by the stalls) BFI greats will be giving a free clinic, new this year, to all Jr. BFI contestants. The clinic presented by Smarty is from 10 a.m. to noon (Jr. BFI contestants can also show their back numbers the next morning for free admission into the BFI).
That night, plan to attend the legendary BFI cowboy auction and welcome dinner, including a live performance by Nashville recording artist Jenna Paulette, at the infamous Chicken Shack just down the road from the Lazy E Arena, complete with outdoor firepits and horseshoe games.
Finally, during “The Feist” on April 1 fans can enjoy a brand-new Beer Garden in the Lazy E, featuring world champion calf roper Shane Hanchey’s popular Cajun food truck. Bo’s Boil N Geaux was named after Taylor Hanchey’s NFR barrel horse and offers creole goodies like crawfish, sausage, chicken and shrimp; etouffee and gumbo.
Also, a new Kids’ Corral and Smarty Arena will host jackpots for kiddos that day, including the Future Champions Dummy Roping at 10 a.m. Finally, a Saturday-night BFI after-party is in the works upstairs in the Cantina over the boxes, open to the public and featuring up-and-coming cowboy recording artist Tyler Halverson. The next day, the 12.5 again has $10,000 added, and ropers can enjoy Happy Hour and a cornhole tournament powered by Texas Ranch Sales.
About Ullman-Peterson Events
The Phoenix-based production company helmed by Daren Peterson and Corky Ullman has owned and produced the Bob Feist Invitational since 2012 and purchased the Reno Rodeo Invitational team ropings in 2015. Founded by notable rodeo announcer and publisher Bob Feist in 1977, the BFI is the richest team roping event for professionals and one of the most prestigious, due to its limited roster and long head-start for steers. The high-stakes amateur, female and youth roping events surrounding the BFI comprise Wrangler BFI Week presented by Yeti – one of the most lucrative Western sporting events of its kind.
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