A full day of roping, you can’t beat it. The Bob Feist Invitational dominates the Monday of Reno. The Reno Rodeo began over the weekend and ends later this week, but Monday is known for the BFI. Hundreds of thousands in cash and prizes are doled out after five rounds, plus a short-round finale, with the average winners splitting $120,000 apiece.

Locally, Ellensburg’s Minor brothers were in the thick of things from the get-go. Their 8.47-second first rounder wasn’t in the required 6’s to earn go-round cash, but it was a clean run, which went well with their 7.23 in round two. Again the 15.70 average on two wasn’t leading the BFI, but it was in the mix. Their third-round time really put them as one of the teams to beat. A 6.62 will do that for you. While their fourth round, 7.29 was again out of the money, their 29.61 on four was the best of the bunch, and “the bunch” was considerably more than 100 teams. They survived bad luck in the fifth round, a 12.3-second steer, and 41.91 was 10th call going into the short round where the top 15 teams vied for the main riches.

But a no-time derailed dreams of a six-figure payoff for the team. In reality, it would’ve been difficult (good luck for them along with bad luck for others) to jump from 10th to first, but a qualified time around what they had been doing probably would’ve bumped them a few more rungs up the ladder.

In all, the brothers totaled $7,000 for the team — $3,500 apiece for 13th place overall — while the team of JR Dees and Lane Siggins picked up the $120,000 big cardboard check. $60,000 apiece for a day’s worth of roping is a good profit.

In addition to the paychecks, Riley Minor’s head horse, Bob, earned the BFI’s Head Horse of the Year. Not a bad honor to take. Bob’s been good to Riley.

The Minors — shoot, every professional cowboy — needs to be good this week and next. It’s Cowboy Christmas time. I traded texts with the Minors on Monday and asked what their schedule was. It includes two separate trips to Alberta (Ponoka and Airdrie) a long trip to Williams Lake, B.C., and trips to Oregon (Prineville this weekend, and Molalla, St. Paul and Eugene next weekend). In between Oregon trips are stops in Red Lodge and Livingston, Mont., Cody, Wyo., and Oakley, Utah.

Coffee much? Whew. That’s going to be a lot of miles.

What helps those miles however is winning, which is what Garrett Rogers and his heeler Jake Minor did last weekend in Sundrie, Alberta, taking the team roping title for $2,324. The win gets the heeler less than $2,000 away from the top 15. Rogers has a bit more work to do, but Cowboy Christmas is as good as anytime to make some money.

As always here’s to safe travels this summer.

Jon Guddat covers rodeo — from the kids to the kids at heart — with a weekly rodeo column in the Daily Record. Contact Jon with story ideas at jonguddat@yahoo.com.


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