LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The winner’s circle in the barrel racing the past two nights at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, presented by Teton Ridge has been crowded with round splits in the fifth and sixth round.
During the sixth round it was Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Emily Beisel sharing center stage with identical times of 13.57 seconds. Pozzi Tonozzi was aboard Babe On The Chase “Birdie” and Beisel on Namgis D 33 “Chongo.” It was Birdie that set the pace at 13.57 seconds, being second out on the ground. Beisel would run next to last and clock the same time.
Ironically enough for Pozzi Tonozzi she got the win on rookie night at the NFR, a position she held in 2003. In fact, she was the first WPRA rookie to qualify in the No. 1 spot in the WPRA standings coming into the NFR that year.
“I just can’t believe it. I am still in shock,” said Pozzi Tonozzi after her win. “I think Birdie is a great horse but just thought we were tapped out at running sevens. I am still in shock and so excited and so proud.”
The last time Pozzi Tonozzi got a victory lap trip at the NFR was in 2011 when she shared the win in the first round aboard the great Duke. Although she has placed in NFR rounds since that, it will be her first to go to the go-round buckle presentation in 11 years. She said “I feel like such a rookie.”
This is Pozzi Tonozzi’s 16th NFR but she remembers that first fondly.
“I was laughing because I remember on rookie night, I was first out just like Bayleigh (Choate) was tonight and thought, man I remember that feeling hustling back to my horse, get on and try to go win,” recalled Pozzi Tonozzi. “It seems like it has been a long time ago which it has been like two decades now.”
This is Beisel’s second victory lap this year at the Thomas and Mack, having won the fourth round in a time of 13.60 seconds. It has been a roller coaster Finals for Beisel as if she has turned in clean runs she has landed in the money. She is 50-50 in that regard.
“I have never hit this many barrels in all my NFRs combined as I have hit this week,” stated Beisel. “He is just working so hard, and I had to ride through my turns. I was exhausted yesterday but I was better rested today which I think definitely helped me stay on top of it tonight. Last night my saddle slipped on the second barrel and it caused me to have to shift my weight going into the third and that cost us. I made sure it was tight tonight.”
After moving to No. 1 in the world after the fifth round, Hailey Kinsel and Sister had a costly barrel penalty in the sixth round as did reigning world champion Jordon Briggs. The $3 million cowgirl Lisa Lockhart finished fourth in a time of 13.64 seconds and continues to lead the average in a total time of 82.35 seconds. Lockhart has moved from No. 14 in the world to No. 3. Kinsel has $225,225, Briggs with $222,289 and Lockhart $182,312.
WPRA Rookie Bayleigh Choate hit the pay window for the first time on Rookie Night. Choate made a horse change in round 5 to Hail To Be Famous “Dash” and was first out in the sixth round. She set the pace with a time of 13.63 seconds and finished third in the round good for $17,255. It will be a night she will remember, and she was wearing her signature pink as the “Queen B.”
Fans can vote on the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed award nightly for who they think looked the sharpest. The award is presented by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Voting is at www.wpra.com
Seventh round action gets underway, Wednesday, December 7 at 5:45 p.m. PT LIVE on the Cowboy Channel.
Rd 6 results: NFR 2022 Results-Tuesday December 6, 2022
Courtesy of WPRA