Photo Finish for the Average & World Titles at the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, presented by Teton Ridge
In an epic race to the wire, it was Jordon Briggs and “Rollo,” her 7-year-old sorrel gelding with a heart of solid gold, who got the gold buckle as Round 10 closed out the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, presented by Teton Ridge, from Thomas & Mack Center arena in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday, Dec. 11. Briggs captured the Wrangler NFR Average Championship and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion title in one fell swoop.
Placing in nine out of 10 rounds, Briggs and Famous Lil Jet achieved a total on 10 runs of 136.83 to cinch the average win and $69,234. In so doing, Briggs beat the record previously set by Nellie Miller in 2017 for the fastest time on 10 runs of 137.32 seconds. In her second NFR appearance (the first in 2009) the million-dollar futurity trainer earned $194,842 over the course of the past 10 days for season earnings totaling $297,460.
“I think I’m gonna have to sleep on this one,” she said of when this fairytale finals will sink in.
Jordon Briggs’ NFR is the stuff that dreams are made of— her first world champion title, first average title, and an NFR average record. To make the victory sweeter, she and her mother Kristie Peterson have become the only mother/daughter duo to win WPRA World Championships in WPRA history.
“I didn’t think people deserved a horse like that twice in the same family,” said Briggs emotionally, referring to Peterson’s beloved French Flash Hawk (“Bozo”) and Rollo.
Coming into the final round, Briggs was poised to win the average championship with a lead over second-ranked Hailey Kinsel of 4.7 seconds.
Defending and three-time world champion Kinsel, riding her stalwart mare DM Sissy Hayday, led the world by $12,869.86 going into the round.
Running 13th in the order, Kinsel let the air out of the room when she tipped the first barrel leaving it to take a plus-five penalty on a time that would have been a 13.60. Briggs was next and knew she needed a clean run, which Rollo delivered to the tune of 13.72 for sixth place in the round and big money in the average.
“I heard the disappointment from the crowd (during Hailey’s run),” said Jordon Briggs, who was next at number 14. “At that point I knew what I needed to do, just make sure Rollo let me be safe.”
Briggs said she was feeling the pressure of not wanting to disappoint her well-wishers after signing autographs at the Convention Center this morning.
“I came back and rode Rollo just to know that he felt good, to have that confidence and to have some alone time with him,” she said. “To get on him and feel that confidence through him, that got me ready to go.”
Having run at countless thousands of dollars through the course of her million-dollar futurity career, Briggs said she felt a different kind of pressure here in Las Vegas. Through the course of the Finals Briggs has consistently fed off the amazing performances her 2021 AQHA/WPRA Horse of the Year, sired by Dash Ta Fame and out of Blazin Black Beauty, made night after night.
“On a colt you never know what’s going to happen, so you almost have a built-in excuse if you look like an idiot,” she laughed. “Rollo has made me look pretty damn good this week! I dang sure didn’t want to screw up this last day.”
Follow Barrel Racing Magazine to catch up on all of our coverage from the 2021 Wrangler NFR. Don’t miss lengthier interviews with both Briggs and Peterson on “The Money Barrel” podcast.
National Finals Rodeo Average Standings:
1. Jordon Briggs, 136.83 seconds on 10 runs, $69,234.17;
2. Molly Otto, 145.11, $56,171;
3. Hailey Kinsel, 146.41, $44,414.37;
4/5. Emily Miller-Beisel, 146.83, $28,085.56;
4/5. Stevi Hillman, 146.83, $28,085.56;
6. Dona Kay Rule, 147.09, $16,981.97;
7. Shelley Morgan, 147.19; $11,756.75;
8. Amanda Welsh, 148.01, $6,531.53.
WPRA World Standings:
1. Jordon Briggs, $297,460.37;
2. Hailey Kinsel, $281,156.08;
3. Emily Miller-Beisel, $202,564.42;
4. Shelley Morgan, $202,202.23;
5. Dona Kay Rule, $195,575.45;
6. Stevi Hillman, $183,070.28;
7. Amanda Welsh, $155,065.07;
8. Ivy Saebens, $139,589.81;
9. Wenda Johnson, $138,345.46;
10. Molly Otto, $134,697.98;
11. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $128,200.08;
12. Lisa Lockhart, $116,845.48;
13. Cheyenne Wimberley, $111,298.94;
14. Jessica Routier, $100,168.59;
15. Nellie Miller, $85,519.15.
National Finals Rodeo – Go Round 10 Results
- Donna Kay Rule, 13.58, $26,996.97
- Shelley Morgan, 13.59, $21,336.32
- Lisa Lockhart, 13.60, $16,111.10
- Ivy Saebens, 13.66, $11,321.31
- Emily Miller-Beisel, 13.70, $6,966.96
- Jordan Briggs, 13.72, $4,354.35