Bob Feist Invitational returns to Reno

PHOENIX — Producers of the world’s richest one-day roping competition – the annual Bob Feist Invitational – moved the 45-year-old BFI to Oklahoma amid the pandemic after 37 years in Reno, but are bringing their $2.9 million event back to Reno for one “final showdown” this summer.

In the last year of its contract with the Reno Rodeo, Ullman Peterson Events’ BFI will produce Championship Week this June, including the Resistol Reno Open presented by The Silver Legacy Resort & Casino. 

The Reno Open, on June 18, is guaranteed to pay the winners at least $100,000 for first place and, like its predecessor the BFI, will showcase the best 100 teams in the world over five full go-rounds and a short round. 

In its third appearance in Oklahoma this April, the week comprised of the Wrangler BFI plus other high-stakes amateur competitions paid winners a collective $2.88 million. Historically, even more amateur competitions have been held in the Reno area each June, which have annually combined with the Reno Rodeo to bring the collective athlete purse in Reno to $3.75 million that week.

“The feedback has been so amazing in Oklahoma that we’ve kept the BFI there,” said Daren Peterson of Ullman Peterson Events. “Still, Open ropers have made Reno a destination every June since 1984, and we have loved our relationship with the Reno Rodeo and Silver Legacy Resort & Casino. For one last time, our Reno Open and handicapped amateur jackpots, along with the all-girl ropings, will serve the Western part of the U.S.”

Last year, Kolton Schmidt and Wyatt Cox roped six steers in 40.27 seconds to hit the $100,000 jackpot at the Reno Open.

“It doesn’t matter what they call it, it’s a part of BFI tradition – we’re in Reno and it paid fifty grand a man,” said Schmidt after the win. “We roped against the best guys in the world and beat ’em. That’s a big deal.”

Team ropers will get one final chance at that feeling on June 18. Per tradition, the Resistol Reno Open will be preceded by the annual Cowboy Auction and Dinner at the Silver Legacy on Friday night, June 17. 

Doors open at 5 p.m. and a ticket to the Reno Open gets the public in free. 

This year, the Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West will kick off its first performance on Thursday night, two days before the Resistol Reno Open.

 “Resistol is excited to be the title sponsor for the Reno Open, produced by the same folks that have the BFI,” said Mary Jane Carpenter, Director of Marketing for Resistol. “One hundred thousand bucks to the Open average winners will be a perfect start to the Fourth of July rodeo runs, and Resistol will be a part of it.”

Tickets for the Resistol Reno Open can be purchased on site at the Reno Sparks Livestock Events Center or during the Cowboy Auction held at the Silver Legacy. Visit for details.