Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and her 2009 world champion Yeah Hes Firen. Photo by Kenneth Springer

Equi-Stat’s Lifetime Leading Owners Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Garrett Tonozzi built their program based on a goal of owning the top horses in the game.

Barrel racing is big business. Since 1985, Equi-Stat, the statistical division of Cowboy Publishing Group, has tabulated barrel racing statistics. The industry amassed more than $370 million among horses, riders, owners and breeders, and more than 3 million entries and 12,833 races have been tracked.

In its infancy Equi-Stat only tracked futurities and derbies, but by 2011 half of all Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuits were being recorded by Equi-Stat. It is important to note that many of the Lifetime Riders, Horses, Owners and Breeders have big careers in professional rodeo. With the missing years in Equi-Stat’s tabulation of professional rodeos prior to 2011, some earnings reflected in the lifetime data are likely much more than recorded in Equi-Stat. Even so, with 35 years of calculated data, Equi-Stat is the only place to find complete, accurate results in the barrel racing industry.

Leading the pack as the Lifetime Leading Breeder, the late Jud Little amassed more than $4.8 million in earnings. Little was an astounding force in the industry with futurity, derby and rodeo champions.

The Lifetime Leading Owners Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and her husband Garrett Tonozzi racked up more than $2.1 million in earnings. Brittany is a two-time WPRA world champion and has qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 13 times and is a multiple futurity champion.

“Garrett and I work so hard day in and day out and put so much of our lives toward this that it is a huge accomplishment, and we are very appreciative of it,” Brittany said. “It’s really special, because there’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears in these horses, from the decision of which mare to breed to which stallion to getting them broke and trained and competing on them. I exhaust my whole entire self with these horses. It’s our life.”

The Lifetime Leading Rider is Troy Crumrine with more than $3.9 million, and the Lifetime Leading Horse is An Oakie With Cash, owned by Lisa Lockhart, with more than $1.9 million in earnings. The Lifetime Leading Sire is Dash Ta Fame with more than $23 million in earnings from 1,373 performers. Dash Ta Fame also claims the Lifetime Leading Maternal Grandsire spot with 844 earners and more than $11 million. The Lifetime Leading Dam is Lady Kaweah Cash from one performer, An Oakie With Cash. The Lifetime Leading Paternal Grandsire is First Down Dash with 3,817 earners and more than $34 million.

Read more about these statistics in the June and July 2020 issues of Barrel Horse News.

Tonozzi Tops the Field

The Lifetime Leading Owners Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Garrett Tonozzi of Lampasas, Texas, are worth more than $2.1 million in earnings from horses campaigned by Brittany in the barrel pen. It’s an honor Brittany says is special because of the journey it’s taken to get there.

Brittany wasn’t raised in a horse household. In fact, getting her first horse was a struggle. After persistently asking her parents for a horse for three years, they finally broke down and got her one. Brittany’s passion for horses sprouted and eventually led to her love of barrel racing. 

“My dad dabbled in some junior rodeo stuff whenever he was younger, but by the time me and my sister came around we lived in a neighborhood and had nothing to do with horses, so I had to beg for my first horse,” Brittany said. “It’s been a passion I’ve had since a very young age, and it wasn’t manipulated by anything that my parents wanted for me. They actually thought I was crazy.”    

Once she had the tools, her natural talent blossomed. Brittany went on to be a high school and college rodeo champion. She made her first bid for the National Finals Rodeo in 2003 and was the first WPRA rookie to qualify for the NFR at No. 1 in the world standings. She ultimately finished seventh in the world and claimed the WPRA Rookie of the Year title. That year was the catalyst that set the young barrel racer on a road to an astounding career.

Brittany has gone on to qualify for the NFR 13 times, win two NFR aggregate championships and two WPRA World Championships. She’s earned more than $2 million as a competitor and owner and is ranked as the No. 5 Equi-Stat Lifetime Leading Rider and No. 31 on the Lifetime Leading Breeders charts. As a competitor, her No. 1 leading earner is Yeah Hes Firen (Alive N Firen x Splendid Discovery x Shoot Yeah) with more than $561,980 in lifetime earnings, plus two WPRA world championships and a large amount of money unaccounted for prior to Equi-Stat’s tracking of professional rodeos.

She says her success is due in part to great horses like “Duke” and a little bit of luck along the way.

“As a barrel racer, you can’t go anywhere in the barrel racing world without having great horses. I just made some decisions, and I didn’t know I was going to get that lucky,” Brittany said. “One of those [lucky choices] was buying Streakin Six Babe. She’s been huge to my career. Her babies have been amazing.”

Streakin Six Babe (Streakin Six x Ambassadors Babe x First Ambassador) has produced earners of more than $614,000 from eight offspring, such as pro rodeo winners Babe On The Chase and Ima Famous Babe.

“It’s funny how things work out. I bought Duke as a 4-year-old, he’d never been to a rodeo. Latricia (Duke) was running him at futurities, and I never even sat on his back when I bought him,” Brittany said. “I bought Streakin Six Babe from Charmayne (James), and Danyelle Campbell had actually claimed her off the track for Charmayne. Later I ended up doing an embryo trade with Jud Little. I traded an embryo to French Covergirl for [Jud’s mare] CD Nick Bar, and that’s how I got Kisskiss Bangbang. Looking back at the choices I made I could have gotten a different mare to trade with French Covergirl but I picked CD Nick Bar, and those choices have turned out to be huge factors in my life and my career. I could have gone right or left in life making decisions, but I got lucky and made the right decisions and got some really nice horses in my hands.”

Kisskiss Bangbang is Brittany’s second-highest earning horse behind Duke, with $416,072 in lifetime earnings. “Mona” also clocked a then-world record on a WPRA standard pattern in 2015 with a time of 14.693 in Loveland, Colorado—a highlight of Brittany’s career. While the record will always be treasured, Brittany says the time period when Duke was at his peak in professional rodeo has meant the most to her.

Great horses are the cornerstone of her program. While Brittany humbly accredits luck as a factor, it’s more than that.

“I have focused my entire life around barrel racing, whether it be the breeding, training, or the competing,” Brittany said. “Both Garrett and I, we are all about these horses 24/7 and I think that’s what it takes. You can’t halfway do something if you want to be great at it.”

Brittany and Garrett are astute entrepreneurs outside of the arena as well. Operating a breeding program together raising, training and competing on their horses has allowed them to touch every aspect of the business. Brittany says it hasn’t always been easy and there’s been many obstacles, but the one constant she’s tried to stay focused on are the horses. The most important lesson she’s learned is to prioritize the horse above all else and trust your instinct.

“I would say knowing your horse and listening to them. Not turning a blind eye when your gut feeling is telling you something else, whether in training, with lameness or anything that is going on,” Brittany said. “Going with your gut and being very in-tune with your animal.”

At the end of the day, many horses are talented. But it takes an extra quality to be a standout in the barrel racing world.

“There’s a lot of athletic horses. I ride athletic horses all day, every day. But a horse has to have that special will to win,” Brittany said. “That’s something you can’t train or breed; you cannot make that. We try to breed for it, we try to train for it, but at the end of the day it just has to be in their makeup. It has to be something they want as well.” 

Just like the special horses that have led her to the top, her accomplishments prove that Brittany has the ‘it’ factor in her makeup too. 

“Garrett and I work so hard day in and day out and put so much of our lives toward this that it is a huge accomplishment, and we are very appreciative of it,” Brittany said. “It’s really special, because there’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears in these horses, from the decision of which mare to breed to which stallion to getting them broke and trained and competing on them. I exhaust my whole entire self with these horses. It’s our life.”

Pick up the June issue of Barrel Horse News to read about the legacy of Lifetime Leading Breeder Jud Little and see the full charts of lifetime leading breeders, owners, riders, horses, sires and dams.

Author

Kailey Sullins is editor of Barrel Horse News, and an avid barrel racer and breakaway roper. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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