Vegas Headliner: Jordon Briggs Tops Round 8 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Jordon Briggs takes her first victory lap of the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, presented by Teton Ridge

Photographs by Kenneth Springer, Courtesy WPRA

Jordon Briggs takes her first victory lap of the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, presented by Teton Ridge

Tonight in Las Vegas, Nev., Jordon Briggs and Famous Lil Jet (“Rollo”) headlined an explosive round of barrel racing with their time of 13.45 in the Thomas & Mack Center arena to earn $26,997. Briggs is a two-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier (2009, 2021) and million-dollar futurity trainer. The WPRA career earner of $249,409 coming into this year’s NFR has added $97,087 to that total so far this week and leads the NFR average with a total on eight runs of 109.63 seconds.

Briggs and Rollo turned in a 13.45 to win Round 8.

Briggs rode with added confidence tonight thanks to rock-solid advice from her mom, four-time WPRA World Champion and barrel racing icon Kristie Peterson. Peterson’s words of wisdom are helping Briggs not get too distracted from her job by the average race and world standings.

“This rodeo is grueling, it really is,” she said. My mom texted me before the round and said, ‘It’s between you and Rollo. It’s only you and Rollo out there and nobody else.’ So, that’s what I’m doing out there.”  

Briggs says she also feeds off the competitive spirit of Rollo, the 2021 AQHA/WPRA Horse of the Year, sired by Dash Ta Fame and out of Blazin Black Beauty.

“I’ve got a great horse and I’m just feeding off him,” said Briggs. “He hasn’t given me any reason to second-guess anything. He just keeps going out there and giving me more and more confidence. I just have to go with that. He has way more confidence than I do. He’s 7 years old and we’ve accomplished so much already. I’m just grateful for that. That’s my thought process. We’re grateful we’re here. I second guess stuff during the day, but once I put my foot in that stirrup, it’s just Rollo and I. Rollo goes in there after some blood!”

With eight of the 10 NFR go-rounds now in the books, Briggs continues to lead the average and has a solid grip on the No. 2 spot in the world standings with $199,705. With Hailey Kinsel leading the world standings with $229,775 and sitting second in the average, this NFR is going to be a horse race to the end.

Briggs’ husband Justin, who has won at major American Rope Horse Futurity Association events heading and heeling on Rollo, has been walking down the alley with her and Rollo each night. Plus, her family arrived today, which made the timing of her go-round win perfect.

“A couple hours ago we picked up my mom, Bexley, my sister and her husband from the airport,” she said. “Bexley (Briggs’ daughter, age 3) is passed out sleeping now so she must have known we were going to be headed to South Point [for the buckle ceremony].”

Follow Barrel Racing Magazine to stay up to speed on our coverage of all the great stories coming out of the 2021 Wrangler NFR. Catch our lengthier interview with Briggs on “The Money Barrel” podcast where she talks more about her NFR experience, the efforts that have been made on the ground here in Vegas, and a lot more.

National Finals Rodeo – Go Round 8 Results: 

  1. Jordon Briggs, Famous Lil Jet, 13.45, $26,996.97
  2. Shelley Morgan, HR FameKissAndTell, 13.56, $21,336.32
  3. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 13.66, $16,111.10
  4. Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 13.68, $11,321.31
  5. Emily Miller-Beisel, Namgis D33, 13.71, $6,966.96
  6. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 13.73, $4,354.35

National Finals Rodeo Average Standings:

1. Jordon Briggs, 109.63 seconds on eight runs; 2. Hailey Kinsel, 114.18; 3. Emily Miller-Beisel, 114.59; 4. Shelley Morgan, 115.01; 5. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 115.76; 6. Nellie Miller, 115.91; 7. Jessica Routier, 116.56; 8. Molly Otto, 117.17; 9. Stevi Hillman, 119.59; 10. Dona Kay Rule, 119.74; 11. Amanda Welsh, 120.73; 12. Ivy Saebens, 125.37; 13. Cheyenne Wimberley, 130.34; 14. Lisa Lockhart, 131.59; 15. Wenda Johnson, 135.35. 

WPRA World Standings: 

1. Hailey Kinsel, $229,775; 2. Jordon Briggs, $199,705; 3. Shelley Morgan, $169,109; 4. Emily Miller-Beisel, $167,512; 5. Dona Kay Rule, $151,597; 6. Amanda Welsh, $132,422; 7. Stevi Hillman, $130,818; 8. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $128,200; 9. Wenda Johnson, $127,024; 10. Ivy Saebens, $123,914; 11. Cheyenne Wimberley, $111,299; 12. Lisa Lockhart, $100,734; 13. Jessica Routier, $100,169; 14. Nellie Miller, $85,519; 15. Molly Otto, $78,527.

About Bonnie Wheatley

Bonnie Wheatley brings a lifetime of professional experience in the Western industry to her role as Barrel Racing Content Director for BarrelRacing.com and Barrel Racing Magazine. She grew up a horse trainer’s kid immersed in ranching and the Western lifestyle before graduating from the University of California at Davis and relocating to the eastern plains of Colorado. When not researching and writing  exciting new content, Wheatley enjoys running barrels, showing reined cow horses, cheering at her daughter Sage’s sporting events, and for her husband, Scot, and son, Regan, at team ropings and horse shows.