By Ann Bleiker courtesy WPRA with contributions by Barrel Horse News staff
JULY 24, 2023 — SALT LAKE CITY — Nothing is sweeter than Gold in the world of rodeo, whether it be a gold buckle for world champions at season’s end or gold medals at the only gold medal rodeo in the world in the heart of Salt Lake City.
For two-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Barrel Racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, she continues to add to her legacy. On Monday night July 24, she added a Gold Medal to her collection and crossed the $3 million mark in WPRA career earnings as the cherry on top. Just this summer, she has won Reno, Calgary and now the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo — all first-time wins for the 16-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier and all accomplished aboard Jets Top Gun — to extend her lead in the WPRA world standings. She won a total of $17,688 in Salt Lake City that will not appear in the world standings until next week’s standings are released since the rodeo ended on Monday.
Pozzi Tonozzi of Lampasas, Texas, was the last barrel racer on the cloverleaf pattern and stopped the clock in a quick 16.79 seconds to earn her first gold medal.
“There are no words to describe what I am feeling right now,” stated Pozzi Tonozzi just after coming off the medal stand. “This is definitely an exciting time for me. This win ranks right up there, as this is a great rodeo and pays well. Plus, it is fun to win a gold medal. This summer has been incredible.”
Trained and futuritied by Janna Beam Brown, who ran him to more than $350,000 in earnings before Tonozzi took the reins, “Benny” is a 2015 gelding owned and bred by Busby Quarter Horses by the late Busby stallion Blazin Jetolena and out of GL Famous First Lady by Dash Ta Fame, a full sister to Kassie Mowry’s winning mount Famous Ladies Man. Benny has carried Pozzi Tonozzi to all her major wins this summer and has what it takes to carry her to a third gold buckle.
“I am so thankful for this horse. I have never felt a horse like this before and how he goes around the barrels. I am thankful for the Busbys, my husband and my daughter. This is so awesome,” Pozzi Tonozzi said.
Jordon Briggs and Famous Lil Jet, another Busby-bred standout who won Gold in 2022, finished silver in a time of 16.91. Rachelle Riggers and Magic French Flight landed on the medal stand for the first time with a 17.19.
Pozzi Tonozzi bought her WPRA card 20 years ago, but she is experiencing a whole new list of first-time wins with Reno, Calgary and Salt Lake City in 2023.
“I didn’t realize I still had so many first left but it is fun,” she said.
Pozzi Tonozzi now joins Sherry Cervi and Lisa Lockhart as the only WPRA members to cross $3 million in WPRA earnings.