Tolar barrel racer Jordon Briggs and her horse Famous Lil Jet saved their best for last as they duo won the average and the 2021 Wrangler National Finals world title in record-setting fashion Saturday in Las Vegas.
Briggs and Famous Lil Jet "Rollo" made 10 clean runs in 136.82 seconds for a new world record.
Briggs earned $69,234 for her average bonus, which lifted her NFR total money earned to $194,842. Briggs's final season tally of $297,460 was a little more than $12,000 in front of three-time world champion Hailey Kinsel who was the leader midway through the rodeo's 10-day run.
It is Briggs' second NFR, and it has been a long time since her last qualification in 2008 aboard Frenchmans Jester.
Now Briggs is aboard Rollo, a horse she and her husband, Justin, trained together, and something about the animal's attitude convinced them he needed to stay in their stable.
The decision to not sell the horse has paid off with Rollo going through an entire barrel racing season without knocking over a barrel and he was named the 2021 AQHA/WPRA Nutrena Barrel Racing Horse-of-the-Year,
"He is definitely a unicorn," Briggs said.
With a horse running so well, Briggs' goal was to win the average at the NFR, which carries a big bonus, and she did far more than that.
After the first five rounds, Briggs had won $31,786 but poured it on over the second half of the rodeo, placing in every round, including a pair of first places and a second.
While she went broke with her fastest time of the NFR, Briggs had winning the average as her most significant goal.
"I am a very average-minded person, and that is why this was my goal. I was really disappointed the first year I made it that I didn't place in the average. I was out for blood this trip -- that average title. And to set the average record was icing on the cake," Briggs said.
Briggs came into the NFR ranked 2nd the reigning world champion, and it stayed that way until the final round, where Rollo's season-long consistency paid off.
"Oh man, it means a lot," Briggs said. "That was my goal coming into here. I knew I had the horse that could do that, and he did it. I had so many people cheering for me. I even had bull riders I have never met cheering for me. It was great. I felt a lot of power behind me and didn't want to let anyone down, and my horse never does."
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