LAS VEGAS — DECEMBER 14, 2023 — Round Eight of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, presented by Teton Ridge, was a big night for barrel racing fans. Kassie Mowry earned her first career Wrangler NFR round win aboard Force The Goodbye, and Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi secured the 2023 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Championship after finishing second in Round Eight.

Money Mowry: Kassie Mowry and Force The Goodbye Win Round Eight

EquiStat’s all-time leading rider Kassie Mowry has added $107,567 to her already more than $5.5 million in lifetime earnings. Mowry has ridden two horses at the 2023 Wrangler NFR and picked up checks aboard both, but it was aboard Force The Goodbye that Mowry earned her first NFR round win. The duo from Dublin, Texas, turned in a time of 13.30 — the fastest of the NFR thus far — to top the field of 15 and secure the $30,706 first-place paycheck and go-round buckle.

“Running a [13.3] here is just an incredible feeling,” Mowry said. “It was not what I was thinking when I went into the gate that I would be coming out with a [13.3]. I was thinking, he ran a [13.6] the last run and I mean, I would have been thrilled with that again. I was really happy with that run yesterday.”

Mowry kicked off the Finals aboard 8-year-old gray gelding CP He Will Be Epic, by Epic Leader and out of Bo Hill-bred Dash Ta Fame daughter Percilla. “Will,” who is owned by Mowry and was bred by Claire Powell, has EquiStat earnings of more than $519,859, not including any 2023 NFR earnings. Mowry and Will finished third in Round One with a 13.90, picking up $18,325. In Round Three, the duo finished in second place with a 13.56, worth $24,268. They stayed consistent in Round Four and stayed in the average race with a time of 13.82.

Force The Goodbye and Kassie Mowry turn the third barrel
Kassie Mowry and Force The Goodbye turned in the fastest time of the Wrangler NFR thus far, a 13.30, to top Round Eight for Mowry’s first career NFR round win. Photo by Kenneth Springer

In Round Five, Mowry made the decision to step off Will and give Force The Goodbye another shot at the Thomas and Mack Center. Mowry rode “Jarvis” once inside the Thomas and Mack in 2022 during Round Six, but at the time he still had maturing to do and was just coming off his 4-year-old futurity year.

The now-5-year-old has another year of competition under his belt, but Mowry was quick to note the NFR still only marks his third rodeo. However, while his professional rodeo experience might be limited, his career is anything but. Owned by Mowry’s fiance Michael Boone and bred by Janelle Yutzie Blubaugh of Newberg, Oregon, Jarvis was one of the year’s top futurity horses in 2022 with earnings of more than $360,644 in a year of competition. Coming into the 2023 NFR, he continued to add to that number during his first derby year. As of December 1, he had an impressive $650,558 in career earnings.

Jarvis and Mowry were out of the money but good on the ground in Rounds Five and Six. In Round Seven, the duo picked up a second-place paycheck, worth $24,267, from a time of 13.60.

For a few moments, it looked as if world champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi was going to take home the Round Eight win after turning a time of 13.34 at draw No. 2 on the ground. But, Round Eight was Jarvis’ time to shine, and at draw No. 7, they turned in a 13.30 to ultimately top the round and earn Mowry her career-first NFR go-round win.

“They’ve both come in here and been such good boys,” Mowry said of Will and Jarvis. “It’s always been a struggle for me to come here, because I come here with really green stock, and they’re not used to all this. I don’t have super high expectations. I mean, I do the best I can, but I understand this isn’t my strong suit. This is just mind blowing that [I’ve won a round at the NFR].”

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi Clinches WPRA World Championship

Courtesy Ann Bleiker of WPRA, with modifications by Barrel Horse News

The regular-season earnings and single-year earnings record-holder Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi secured her third WPRA world championship after Round Eight, where she finished in second place. Due to Emily Beisel hitting a barrel during the round, mathematically, Tonozzi’s world title is secured. With two rounds left, she has amassed more than $427,657 in earnings. 

“It’s surreal right now,” Tonozzi said. “I never thought a third was going to be in the cards for me. This is another dream come true.” 

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi clinched her third WPRA world championship after finishing second in Round Eight of the 2023 Wrangler NFR. She still holds onto her lead in the aggregate as well. Photo by Kenneth Springer

Not only has she now blown the old season-earnings record out of the water, Tonozzi is also gaining ground on becoming the overall WPRA career earnings record holder. Coming into the 2023 Wrangler NFR, Sherry Cervi led the way with $3,388,790. Lisa Lockhart has gained ground and is now only $4,446 from surpassing Cervi on that list. Tonozzi could surpass both of them, depending on the value of the checks she picks up in the final two rounds. Her career earnings currently sit at $3,279,319. 

According to EquiStat, which include all levels of competition, not just professional rodeos, going into the NFR Tonozzi was the No. 3 Leading Rider of all time with $3.7 million as a rider, as well as the No. 1 Leading Owner of all time with $3.2 million.

Tonozzi leads the average race at the NFR with 108.98 seconds on eight runs and could easily set a new average record at the NFR. The old record set in 2021 by Jordon Briggs is a total time of 136.83 seconds. This would also mark her third NFR average title. 

“We are going to keep our heads down and try to stay in the average and win as much money as possible,” Tonozzi said of her game plan for the final two rounds of the 2023 season. 

2023 NFR Barrel Racing Round Eight Results

Place, Name, Horse, Time, Money Won

1. Kassie Mowry / Force The Goodbye / 13.30 / $30,706

2. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi / Jets Top Gun / 13.34 / $24,268

3. Sissy Winn / A R Dash Ta Flame / 13.45 / $18,325

4. Paige Jones / Famous Hayday / 13.65 / $12,877

5/6. Jordon Briggs / Famous Lil Jet / 13.66 / $6,438

5/6. Lisa Lockhart / Promise Me Fame Guys / 13.66 / $6,438

7. Sue Smith / Rockin The Guns / 13.78 

8. Stevi Hillman / Sand In My Socks / 13.81

9. Wenda Johnson / Smoken French Winner / 13.82

10. Taycie Matthews / Stoli My Firewater / 13.87

11. Ilyssa Riley / Mistys Money Blurr / 14.03

12. Jessica Routier / Fiery Miss West / 18.59*

13. Emily Beisel / Ivory On Fire / 18.61*

14. Summer Kosel / Firewaterfrenchflame / 18.67*

15. Hailey Kinsel / DM Sissy Hayday / 18.83*

2023 WPRA Top 15 Stats

2023 NFR Barrel Racing Horsepower

2023 NFR Barrel Racing Horses Connections and Stats

Aggregate Standings on Eight Runs

Rank, Name, Aggregate Time

1. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi / 108.98

2. Kassie Mowry / 109.55

3. Jordon Briggs / 109.83

4. Lisa Lockhart / 110.23

5. Paige Jones / 114.69

6. Jessica Routier / 115.17

7. Ilyssa Riley / 116.76

8. Wenda Johnson / 120.06

9. Sue Smith / 121.21

10. Hailey Kinsel / 121.49

11. Emily Beisel / 124.42

12. Summer Kosel / 125.46

13. Sissy Winn / 129.05

14. Stevi Hillman / 130.42

15. Taycie Matthews / 131.50

2023 WPRA World Standings (after Round Eight)

1. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi / Lampasas, Texas / $427,657.03

2. Emily Beisel / Weatherford, Oklahoma / $246,674.04

3. Kassie Mowry / Dublin, Texas / $241,369.31

4. Sissy Winn / Chapman Ranch, Texas / $229,961.77

5. Jordon Briggs / Tolar, Texas / $227,449.45

6. Lisa Lockhart / Oelrichs, South Dakota / $209,966.59

7. Summer Kosel / Glenham, South Dakota / $196,504.45

8. Stevi Hillman / Granbury, Texas / $173,989.82

9. Paige Jones / Wayne, Oklahoma / $172,069.79

10. Jessica Routier / Buffalo, South Dakota / $162,651.20

11. Taycie Matthews / Wynne, Arkansas / $154,161.40

12. Sue Smith / Blackfoot, Idaho / $133,968.73

13. Wenda Johnson / Pawhuska, Oklahoma / $130,506.57

14. Ilyssa Riley / Hico, Texas / $121,473.37

15. Hailey Kinsel / Cotulla, Texas / $115,775.77

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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