LAS VEGAS—December 9, 2021—Jordon Briggs and Famous Lil Jet notched their first go-round win of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with a fast 13.45 to win Round Eight, worth $26,996.97.

“Man, it felt awesome. I was third on the ground—that’s the best I’ve been on the ground since the first round,” Jordon said. “He’s given me no reason to second-guess anything, so we’ve just got to keep going at it.”

The pair has stayed strong throughout the Finals and is currently leading the NFR average by a substantial margin. Jordon attributes this remarkable consistency to the God-given talent in her 2021 American Quarter Horse Association/WPRA Horse of the Year “Rollo.”

“He’s just a freak. He really is. He knows where to run and where to put his feet, so I’ve just got to stay out of his way and have as much confidence as he does,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier for my horse. He’s amazing. He makes me look really good.”

famous lil jet pedigree

Jordon was born with rodeo in her blood 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 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.

—> Read more: Kristie Peterson and Bozo

The professional barrel racer is now based in Tolar, Texas, with her husband, Justin Briggs, where they breed and train high-caliber barrel and rope horses. Jordon has focused her career primarily on futurity colts and is a multiple aged-event barrel racing champion. Rollo is a barrel futurity champion that Jordon trained and ran to $99,964 in EquiStat reported earnings during his futurity year in 2019, and Justin has also roped on the gelding in American Rope Horse Futurity Association competition.

Jordon Briggs works then-3-year-old Famous Lil Jet at her home in 2017. Photo by Kailey Sullins

Knowing Rollo deserved to run on rodeo’s biggest stage, Jordon set her sights on qualifying for the Finals for 2021. Rollo more than delivered as her main rodeo horse. The pair entered the NFR at No. 2 in the WPRA world standings and remains in that spot after Round Eight (see standings below). Sitting on top of the average, which pays $69,234.17 to win, Jordon is a hot contender for the gold buckle.

Even so, the seasoned competitor is not looking too far ahead—especially with two go-rounds left to run against the toughest rodeo horses in the country.

“This is grueling. This is the longest rodeo ever. I was like, ‘OK, I’m winning the average. Let’s just stop now and give me the check, I’ll be fine with that,'” Jordon said with a laugh. “But you’ve got to keep going. That’s why this is one of the toughest rodeos in the world is because it is 10 rounds in a row. I’m a little superstitious, so we do the same thing every day. I have a routine in our warm up and work on little weaknesses. I try to keep a very good mental game here. I’m so grateful for what I’ve already won, and I don’t want to start thinking about the future. I’m happy with what’s already happened.”

In the Briggs’ world as professional horse trainers, training, campaigning and then selling horses is what pays the bills for their young family. However, Rollo has always been in a class of his own, and Jordon never could bring herself to part with the once-in-a-million gelding. He might even be prepping for a bigger role of igniting that same passion Jordon and Kristie share in another little girl with NFR dreams.

“My mom and my little girl flew in today—I’m so excited to share this with them,” Jordon said with a smile of her 3-year-old daughter, Bexley. “It means a lot, and he’s my Bozo. I hope if my little girl decides to run barrels that she’ll be riding him, too.”

—> 2021 WPRA Top 15 Stats

—> 2021 NFR Horse Pedigrees

—> Blood, Sweat and Cheers: 2021 NFR Horse Struggle Stories

Round Eight Results

Place, Name, Horse, Time, Money Won

  1. Jordon Briggs, Famous Lil Jet, 13.45, $26,996.97
  2. Shelley Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 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 D 33, 13.71, $6,966.96
  6. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 13.73, $4,354.35
  7. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Ima Famous Babe, 13.77
  8. Ivy Saebens, KN Fabs Gift Of Fame, 13.82
  9. Nellie Miller, Rafter W Minnie Reba, 13.86
  10. Molly Otto, Teasin Dat Guy, 13.86
  11. Wenda Johnson, Steal Money, 14.46
  12. Stevi Hillman, Famous Lemon Drop, 18.59*
  13. Cheyenne Wimberley, VQ Sucker Punch, 18.75*
  14. Amanda Welsh, Frenchman Fire Fly, 19.12*
  15. Lisa Lockhart, Promise Me Fame Guys, 19.26*

*denotes penalty

Jordon Briggs leaving the third barrel
After winning Round Eight, Jordon Briggs is gaining ground as the No. 2 cowgirl in the world and maintains a healthy lead in the NFR average race. Photo by Kenneth Springer

Aggregate Standings on Eight Runs

Rank, Name, Aggregate Time

  1. Jordon Briggs, 109.63
  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
Hailey Kinsel turning the second barrel
Hailey Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday lead the 2021 WPRA world standings in their quest for a fourth-straight gold buckle. Photo by Kenneth Springer

WPRA World Standings

Rank, Name, Hometown, Earnings

  1. Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, TX, $229,774.75
  2. Jordon Briggs, Tolar, TX, $199,705.21
  3. Shelley Morgan, Eustace, TX, $169,109.16
  4. Emily Miller-Beisel, Weatherford, OK, $167,512.10
  5. Dona Kay Rule, Minco, OK, $151,596.51
  6. Amanda Welsh, Gillette, WY, $132,422.44
  7. Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, TX, $130,818.08
  8. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Lampasas, TX, $128,200.08
  9. Wenda Johnson, Pawhuska, OK, $127,024.15
  10. Ivy Saebens, Nowata, OK, $123,914.15
  11. Cheyenne Wimberley, Stephenville, TX, $111,298.94
  12. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, $100,734.38
  13. Jessica Routier, Buffalo, SD, $100,168.59
  14. Nellie Miller, Cottonwood, CA, $85,519.15
  15. Molly Otto, Grand Forks, ND, $78,526.86

Blanche Schaefer is an avid barrel racer and managing editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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