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It’s Time for the Bob Feist Invitational 2023!

Credit to BFI Facebook Page

When looking at men who have dedicated their lives to western sports, rodeo, and particularly team roping, there is no doubt Bob Feist is one that sits at the top of the list. Because of Feist’s passion for the sport, top ropers from across the country will gather at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma March 29-April 4 for the 46th annual Wrangler Bob Feist Invitational 2023 (BFI).

History of the Bob Feist Invitational

A roper himself until a series of accidents around 1981, Feist’s main focus was always on promoting the sport through his ropings and the first-ever publication covering solely team roping. The 45-year professional rodeo announcer and founder of Ropers Sports News hosted the first Bob Feist Invitational in Chowchilla, California in 1977 with the intent of giving the better team ropers a place to compete and the amateur ropers a place to watch the best and learn. At the first BFI with 40 teams, entry fees were $500/man with a guaranteed $40,000 payoff.

In 1981, the BFI moved to Las Vegas, followed by Denton, Texas for a year. There wasn’t a roping in 1983, but the event came back in full force in 1984 in the outdoor arena in Reno, Nevada. A few years later, when the event moved into Reno’s indoor arena, Feist stopped inviting teams and allowed the first 100 in with approval.

In 2012, Ullman Peterson Events, LLC bought the BFI from Feist, but it has continued to be the roping Feist envisioned it to be. Since its inception, the BFI has become the world’s richest one-day roping for pros; and other ropings have been added to make up a full week of great competition.

In 2020, the event was moved to the Lazy E due to pandemic restrictions; and in 2022, it was announced that the 440-foot arena would be its new home. The payout last year totaled $2,872,900 over the week, and Jake Clay and Billie Jack Saebens took home the win after roping six steers in 47.11 seconds.

Credit to BFI Facebook Page

Bob Feist Invitational 2023

Starting Wednesday, March 29, BFI week will kick off with the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping and All-Girl Breakaway Roping. Thursday, March 30, will feature junior ropers with the Hooey Jr. 10.5 and Open ropings.

To start the weekend on Friday, March 31, the day will begin with the 15.5 roping, followed by the BFI Legends roping. This roping is open to ropers over 40 anytime in 2023 who haven’t qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in the past five years. From 10:00 a.m. to noon on Friday, Smarty will present a free clinic in the Equinety Arena by BFI greats for all Jr. BFI contestants.

Credit to BFI Facebook Page

The biggest event of the week and what began as the invitational roping, The Feist will take over the Lazy E Saturday, April 1! It will feature 125 of the best teams competing for a purse of more than $650,000 and the coveted Gist Silversmith BFI buckles. For the first time in history, the prestigious roping will pay back 100% of the pot to ropers.

The 12.5 roping will be held Sunday, April 2, and the 11.5 Businessman’s roping and 10.5 Over 40 roping will be held Monday, April 3. Tuesday, April 4 will wrap up the week with the 9.5 Over 40 roping, the 8.5 roping and the 7 roping.

Spending the Week in Guthrie

Each day, ropings will start at 9:00 a.m., and tickets for The Feist on April 1 can be purchased online starting at $25 for adults and $5 for children 3-9 years old.

Prior to the roping Saturday morning, the annual Cowboy Auction and Dinner will take place Friday night at the Chicken Shack in Arcadia, Oklahoma at 5:00 p.m., and a ticket to the BFI will get you in. Also, during Bob Feist Invitational 2023, fans will be able to enjoy a new beer garden featuring world champion tie-down roper Shane Hanchey’s Cajun food truck.

Credit to BFI Facebook Page

A Kids’ Corral and Smarty Arena will host jackpots on Saturday, as well as the Future Champions Dummy Roping at 10:00 a.m. Following the BFI, there will be an after-party in the Cantina over the boxes featuring live entertainment by Tyler Halverson. On Sunday, ropers can enjoy happy hour and a cornhole tournament presented by Texas Ranch Sales.

For those traveling to partake in BFI 46 and watch all the exceptional team roping, you can find all the information you may need about the Bob Feist Invitational 2023, including hotel information, at!

CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Originally from Earth, Texas, a small town in the Texas panhandle, I was raised around rodeo, agriculture, and the western lifestyle. With a degree from Texas A&M University, I have found a passion for promoting the lifestyle that made me who I am today. I am an experienced writer, marketer, and event professional with a strong desire to share the stories of those in our industry. When I’m not busy seeking out ways to promote the western way of life, I enjoy following those I care about around to rodeos, hunting, and going on runs with my blue-eyed, blue-merle Australian Shepherd.

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