New Mexico’s Chris Francis and Cade Passig bested 108 of the top teams in the world to win.
RENO, Nev. (June 18, 2018) – A couple of lifelong friends from New Mexico corralled the biggest win of their lives Monday at the 41st edition of the Bob Feist Invitational in Reno. The BFI presented by Yeti annually kicks off Wrangler BFI Week in conjunction with the Reno Rodeo, dubbed the “wildest, richest rodeo in the West.”
Chris Francis, 40, and Cade Passig, 24, of Las Vegas, New Mexico, roped six steers in 43.34 seconds for first place, padding their pockets with $122,000 cash, tens of thousands of dollars in prizes and bragging rights for winning the oldest, richest and most prestigious invitational team roping in the sport. Known for its 18-foot head start for extra-strong steers, the BFI is a challenge even for the professionals.
“This roping has been around so long and all the greats have won this,” said Passig. “And some of the best cowboys in the world haven’t won it. It’s the most mentally trying event of the year.”
Cade’s dad, Shotgun Passig, had been a former partner of Francis’ and when Cade was a toddler, Francis moved in and lived with the family. Today, both men work for Mathews Land and Cattle Company, which sponsored their entry in the world’s richest pro roping event.
To win, the pair withstood pressure from the likes of world rodeo standings leaders Clay Smith and Paul Eaves, who finished third, and world champion Junior Nogueira and Kaleb Driggers, who fell to fourth.
“The final round was probably the toughest I’ve ever seen here,” said second-place header Bubba Buckaloo, who with his partner Tyler Worley earned $93,000 cash. “This is the best roping of the year. Everybody wants to come to the BFI.”
Wrangler BFI Week continues in Reno through Thursday with more events for amateur ropers and payoffs exceeding $1 million. Visit www.bfiweek.com for more.
Complete results from the 2018 Bob Feist Invitational:
First Round:1. J.D. Yates and Kyle Lockett, 6.23 seconds, $8,000; 2. Jeff Flenniken and Jake Minor, 6.32, $6,000; 3. Bubba Buckaloo and Tyler Worley, 6.73, $4,000; 4. Jake Stanley and Bucky Campbell, 6.75, $2,000.
Second Round:1. Calvin Brevik and Kory Bramwell, 5.61 seconds, $8,000; 2. Dustin Bird and Paden Bray, 5.72, $6,000; 3. Garrett Tonozzi and Joe Mattern, 6.27, $4,000; 4. Tyler Wade and Tyler McKnight, 6.66, $2,000.
Third Round:1. Lane Ivy and Blaine Vick, 4.53 seconds, $8,000; 2. Brock Hanson and Ryan Motes, 4.75, $6,000; 3. Blake Teixeira and Tanner Luttrell, 5.15, $4,000; 4. Cale Markham and Jake Cooper Clay, 5.21, $2,000.
Fourth Round:1. Max Kuttler and Brandon Bates, 4.27 seconds, $8,000; 2/3 (tie). Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp/Dustin Bird and Paden Bray, 4.93 seconds each, $5,000 each; 4. Rhen Richard and Quinn Kesler, 5.17, $2,000.
Fifth Round:1. Hayes Smith and Justin Davis, 4.72 seconds, $8,000; 2. Jr Dees and Cody Cowden, 4.75, $6,000; 3. Garrett Rogers and Russell Cardoza, 5.01, $4,000; 4. Jeff Flenniken and Jake Minor, 5.16, $2,000.
Wrangler/Priefert Short Round:1. Andrew Ward and Reagan Ward, 4.96 seconds; 2. Garrett Tonozzi and Joe Mattern, 5.70, $3,000; 3. Billy Bob Brown and Hunter Koch, 5.77, $2,000; 4. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, 6.23, $1,000.
Aggregate:1. Chris Francis and Cade Passig, 43.34 seconds on six, $122,000; 2. Bubba Buckaloo and Tyler Worley, 43.79, $89,000; 3. Clay Smith and Paul Eaves, 44.98, $51,500; 4. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, 45.56, $33,500; 5. Coleman Proctor and Billie Jack Saebens, 45.66, $21,500; 6. Andrew Ward and Regan Ward, 46.06, $16,500; 7. Garrett Tonozzi and Joe Mattern, 46.58, $14,500; 8. JD Yates and Kyle Lockett, 46.96, $12,500; 9. Billy Bob Brown and Hunter Koch, 46.98, $9,500; 10. Cody Mora and Cord Forzano, 47.77, $8,500; 11. Kade Smith and Casey Chamberlain, 49.34, $7,500; 12. BJ Campbell and Joel Bach, 49.89, $7,500; 13. Randon Adams and Jory Levy, 51.72, $6,500; 14. Rhett Anderson and Coleby Payne, 53.56, $6,500; 15. Tyler Wade and Tyler McKnight, 40.83 on five, $6,500.
About the BFI:
The Bob Feist Invitational was founded by Bob Feist in 1977 to showcase and reward the world’s best professional team ropers, and is owned today by Ullman-Peterson Events. Annually the top 100 teams in the sport are invited to the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center in Nevada, where they compete over six rounds for a cash-and-awards package worth more than $700,000.