Bob Feist on Building What Would Become an Iconic Team Roping Event

Bob Feist founded the Bob Feist Invitational and putting it together was not an easy task.

Coming from the restaurant and hotel business, he knew what would happen if spectators did not come to his event. He came up with the idea of $5.00 a ticket and a BBQ in the parking lot with a stage for awards that was surrounded by a bar.

“It worked. That was my salvation of making the thing at least kind of break even and that’s how the BFI started,” Feist said.

Three years later and the Bob Feist Invitational moved to Las Vegas and then Texas in the 1980’s.

A horse accident followed by an accident in Alaska caused Feist to take a year off and get back to the right state of mind for the BFI. It was a phone call from Harry Bigby followed by an anonymous donation that got the BFI up and running again.

“He was an angel and I felt obligated then, that’s what I needed,” Feist said.

Reno would then become the home of the BFI until 2020 when the BFI found its way back to Oklahoma, where it has been ever since. Approaching the 50-year anniversary, Feist said he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t proud of it.