LAS VEGAS—December 11, 2021—Jordon Briggs and Famous Lil Jet dominated the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo barrel racing, making 10 clean runs to win the NFR average title for $69,234.17 en route to her first Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Championship. In doing so, Jordon and her 2021 American Quarter Horse Association/WPRA Horse of the Year “Rollo” set a new fastest aggregate record of 136.83—previously held by Nellie Miller in 2017 with 137.32—and banked a total $194,842.17 at the Finals to top the world standings with $297,460.37.
“I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet. I’m just proud that I followed through today,” Jordon said.
Jordon entered the NFR at No. 2 in the world behind reigning and three-time world champion Hailey Kinsel. The two stayed ranked that way throughout the Finals until Round 10. Jordon led the average for most of the NFR, and after winning back-to-back go-rounds in Rounds Eight and Nine, the world title was realistically within reach for her to clinch.
“I had the average sewn up, but I didn’t want to screw up,” Jordon said. “Of course the gold buckle was in the back of my mind, but I just wanted to do that average first and then see where the cards fell from there. My horse stayed solid for one more run again.”
Kinsel and Jordon drew up at 13 and 14, respectively, on the ground in Round Ten. Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday tipped the first barrel, and though Jordon tried not to pay attention, she couldn’t help but hear the crowd’s reaction from where she waited inside the blind alley. She entered the pen and executed with perfection a safe and clean run, guiding Rollo around the turns with a little extra room for a sixth-place time of 13.72.
“I just wanted to make our run again. But then again, when the person you’re battling out with is before you, you have to adjust your game plan. I tried not to pay attention, but I heard the crowd be disappointed for her, so it’s big shoes to go out there and do your job,” Jordon said. “You can’t safety up in the barrel racing, because that’s when you really mess up. My horse let me get him those extra steps to make me feel comfortable.”
When Briggs turned the third barrel, she was fully aware of what Rollo had just done.
“They probably have some good pictures of me, because I think I smiled the whole way home,” Jordon said.
Jordon’s first world championship is the fifth in her family, as daughter of four-time WPRA World Champion Barrel Racer Kristie Peterson, who dominated the rodeo world in the 1990s on French Flash Hawk (“Bozo”). Jordon and Kristie are now the first mother-daughter world champion pair in WPRA history.
—> Read more: Kristie Peterson and Bozo
Jordon says the No. 1 thing her mother told her that resonated throughout her rodeo season as well as at the NFR was to focus on a consistent long game.
“She’s always said the average race, that’s the most important thing. You go out there and do your job every time and you place in the average, and then you get to the NFR,” Jordon said. “To win the average here was my biggest goal, because I knew I had the horse that could do it. I had to make sure that my mental game was strong enough to overcome that.”
Jordon herself is a two-time Wrangler NFR qualifier, having qualified for her first NFR in 2009 aboard Frenchmans Jester, her 2006 Barrel Futurities of America World Futurity Champion gelding. She’s since focused her barrel racing career primarily on futurity colts and is a multiple aged-event barrel racing champion. Rollo was a futurity champion in 2019 with EquiStat reported earnings of $99,964 during his futurity year in 2019.
Jordon and her husband Justin Briggs make their living training and selling horses, but something told them to hold onto Rollo. When Jordon turned the gelding loose on the rodeo road in 2021, he showed to the world what the couple knew he was capable of doing all along.
“Rollo is amazing. He’s what dreams are made of. I tell people that I can brag all I want to that I trained him, but I can never make another one. That’s why we had to keep him,” Jordon said. “Sharing this with my husband; we got to train Rollo together, and I wouldn’t be doing this without him. I thought the best thing for me to do was to sell Rollo now that we have a child, and he just said no.”
She hopes her 3-year-old daughter Bexley can learn from her what Jordon learned from her mother, no matter what Bexley decides to pursue in life. For Jordon, the world title is more than a gold buckle. It’s a symbol of a shared family passion and a bigger meaning to running barrels.
“It means that I get to make a living doing what I love to do, and that’s the most important thing. It’s amazing that a family deserves two horses like that,” Jordon said through tears of Rollo and her mom’s great horse Bozo. “It’s just been amazing. I couldn’t have done it without my family and the support from all of them. And then my amazing horse—it’s just all God’s timing.”
Final 2021 WPRA World Standings
- Jordon Briggs, $297,460.37, Total NFR Earnings: $194,842.17
- Hailey Kinsel, $281,156.08, Total NFR Earnings: $167,627.49
- Emily Miller-Beisel, $202,564.62, Total NFR Earnings: $129,091.48
- Shelley Morgan, $202,202.23, Total NFR Earnings: $107,972.90
- Dona Kay Rule, $195,575.45, Total NFR Earnings: $110,585.49
- Stevi Hillman, $183,070.28, Total NFR Earnings: $111,891.79
- Amanda Welsh, $155,065.07, Total NFR Earnings: $78,145.59
- Ivy Saebens, $139,589.81, Total NFR Earnings: $68,783.73
- Wenda Johnson, $138,345.46, Total NFR Earnings: $70,960.90
- Molly Otto, $134,697.98, Total NFR Earnings: $70,525.47
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $128,200.08, Total NFR Earnings: $54,414.38
- Lisa Lockhart, $116,845.48, Total NFR Earnings: $51,801.77
- Cheyenne Wimberley, $111,298.94, Total NFR Earnings: $34,166.64
- Jessica Routier, $100,168.59, Total NFR Earnings: $21,321.31
- Nellie Miller, $85,519.15, Total NFR Earnings: $10,000 (guaranteed money for all qualifiers)
Final 2021 NFR Aggregate on 10 Runs
Rank, Name, Aggregate Time
- Jordon Briggs, 136.83, $69,234.17 (new record)
- Molly Otto, 145.11, $56,171.12
- Hailey Kinsel, 146.41, $44,414.37
- tie-Emily Miller-Beisel, 146.83, $28,085.56
- tie-Stevi Hillman, 146.83, $28,085.56
- Dona Kay Rule, 147.09, $16,981.97
- Shelley Morgan, 147.19, $11,756.75
- Amanda Welsh, 148.01, $6,531.53
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 148.27
- Jessica Routier, 148.76
- Nellie Miller, 148.80
- Ivy Saebens, 152.69
- Lisa Lockhart, 159.00
- Cheyenne Wimberley, 162.93
- Wenda Johnson, 167.41