FAMOUS LIL JET aka “ROLLO”

2014 AQHA Sorrel Gelding | Owner/Rider: Jordon Briggs

2021 & 2022 AQHA/PRCA-WPRA BARREL RACING HORSE OF THE YEAR

During the seventh performance the National Finals Rodeo on 12/8/2021. Photo by Christopher “Click” Thompson

“I wake up every morning so grateful for this horse and am just so excited to get to ride Rollo every day. I love him so much, and here he is making a living for my family, just like Bozo did for my mom and dad’s family. Horses like Bozo and Rollo are family.” – Jordan Briggs, WPRA/NFR World Champion Barrel racer



 

Famous Lil Jet is the 2022 Nutrena Barrel Racing Horse of the Year presented by AQHA

By Lane Karney and Kendra Santos | AQHA Journal

By a vote of the best barrel racers on earth, Famous Lil Jet just went back-to-back as the Nutrena Barrel Racing Horse of the Year, presented by AQHA. Jordon Briggs and her husband, Justin, a horseshoer and horse-training partner in their Tolar, Texas-based Briggs Performance Horses, bought “Rollo” as a yearling from his breeders, Jeff and Andrea Busby’s Busby Quarter Horses. They built him into a barrel horse extraordinaire the old-fashioned way.

“Justin puts the first rides on all our horses,” Jordon says. “He headed and heeled on Rollo and had success on him at the rope-horse futurity. I had planned to ride Rollo at the barrel horse futurities as a 4-year-old but found out I was pregnant with our daughter, Bexley, so I waited a year. I won $555,000 on Rollo as a 5-year-old at the barrel horse futurities. We’ve had a lot of offers, and selling horses is our business. But I just couldn’t make myself sell Rollo.”

Rollo is a 2014 sorrel gelding by Dash Ta Fame and out of Blazin Black Beauty by Blazin Jetolena. Racehorse-turned-barrel-horse-sire Dash Ta Fame has sired 3,500 American Quarter Horse foals, 1,250 of which have started on the racetrack and won more $19 million. Dash Ta Fame’s progeny have also brought in more than $30.5 million in barrel racing earnings, according to AQHA’s QData. Famous Lil Jet is Dash Ta Fame’s leading progeny with $797,052 in career earnings.

Bexley is 4 now. Rollo’s still only 8, and after he and Jordon won last year’s world barrel racing crown, they are again the leaders of the pack riding into the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Jordon and Rollo have a $50,000 lead over the field, which is led by Dona Kay Rule and High Valor. Not coincidentally, “Valor” is the reserve 2022 Nutrena Barrel Racing Horse of the Year. Ty and Stevi Hillman’s Cuatro Fame, aka “Truck,” is Dash Ta Fame’s second-leading progeny by earnings and finished third in the horse of the year voting.

Jordon only rode Rollo at 50 rodeos during the 2021 regular rodeo season, which runs October 1 to September 30. They trumped that by only competing at 31 regular-season rodeos in 2022. Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racers are allowed to count up to 100 rodeos toward the world standings, and this talented tandem didn’t even go to a third of what’s allowed. They didn’t need to.

“Winning Houston (in March and the $60,000 that went with it) allowed me to really pick and choose where I wanted to go this year,” Jordon says.  She also learned this year that barrel racers must compete at a minimum of 25 rodeos in the regular season to be NFR-eligible. “I’d won third at Fort Worth and fourth at San Antonio, then we won Houston.

“I won about $95,000 at those three rodeos, so I pretty much had the Finals made and only went to the bigger rodeos the rest of the year. Winning Houston changed my whole game plan. It gave me a lot of freedom and let me give Rollo big vacations. I gave him two months off after Houston, two months off after Dodge City (in August), and he has had a nice break this fall. It’s my duty to take care of Rollo, and winning early like that let me do that.”

Jordon’s minimalist strategy is no surprise to any of us who watched her Hall of Fame mom, Kristie Peterson, win four gold buckles on her dream horse, French Flash Hawk, aka “Bozo,” while averaging only 35 rodeos a year. Kristie and Bozo won the NFR average five straight years from 1994-98. Jordon returned to the NFR last year for the first time since 2009, and she and Rollo won both the NFR average and their first world championship. Interestingly, it was the first time Jordon got into the limited-entry big winter rodeos, because she has never rodeoed two years in a row before, and getting into them is based on earnings from the previous season.

“Bozo was my mom’s only horse for eight years in a row, and I watched my mom treat him like family,” Jordon says. “I would be beyond grateful for Rollo to last as long as Bozo did. I didn’t think Rollo could get any better than he was last year, then he did it this year. He knows his job so well, and he’s so consistent. Rollo loves it. He’s a big puppy dog, and he knows that every day is all about him. Rollo is my Bozo.”

Justin doesn’t compete on Rollo anymore, but he does still rope on him at home “to keep him in shape and using his butt good.”

Defending world champs Jordon and Rollo are rolling right back to Vegas to defend their title.

“He had a lot of highlights last year when we set the new NFR average record and won the world,” Jordon says. “To do that at his first NFR was amazing. I’m a little nervous to try to fill those shoes again. It was a lot more fun to have no expectations and just be happy to be there. I wake up every morning so grateful for this horse and am just so excited to get to ride Rollo every day. I love him so much, and here he is making a living for my family, just like Bozo did for my mom and dad’s family. Horses like Bozo and Rollo are family.”


 

Back-to-Back, Side by Side-Jordon and Justin Briggs’ Rollo Wins Second Straight Nutrena Horse of the Year Award

By Tim Gentry | WPRA.com

“Rollo”, Ridden by Jordon Briggs | Photo by James Phifer | WPRA.com

Briggs Performance Horses is truly a family-run business. Jordon and Justin own and operate it themselves on their Tolar, Texas ranch, working together every step of the way to offer up a very select yearly crop of barrel and rope horses. Some are bred, some bought, but by the time they’re ready for the sale barn, these horses are mentally and physically sound, ready for a lifetime of use and affection.

“Rollo”, Ridden by Jordon Briggs

Photo by Kenneth Springer | WPRA.com

 


 

JORDON BRIGGS: Tolar cowgirl wins NFR’s world barrel racing championship

Updated

 

WORLD CHAMPION: Tolar barrel racer Jordon Briggs and her horse Famous Lil Jet.

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.

TIGHT TURN: Rollo is the 2021 AQHA/WPRA Nutrena Barrel Racing Horse-of-the-Year

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.

PERFECT FORM: Rollo and Jordon Briggs didn’t knock over a barrel all season long.

 

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.

GOLD BUCKLE TIME: Jordon 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.

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.”

Russell@hcnews.com | 817-573-7066 ext. 231


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