Jordon Briggs and her 2021 Barrel Horse of the Year Famous Lil Jet—aka “Rollo”—have been on fire at the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. They placed in the first six of seven rounds, then struck for the 13.45-second victory lap in Round 8 last night. This dynamite duo has a commanding 4.55-second lead in the average, and after cashing $97,087 in NFR paychecks already this week is now just $30,000 behind defending champ Hailey Kinsel, who’s sitting second in the average. But did you know Rollo’s a world-class head horse, too?
“Rollo could come to the NFR in the heading,” said Jordon’s husband, Justin, who’s the other half of Briggs Performance Horses. “He’s that good. He’s the real deal. He does not flinch in the box. But as soon as I move my hand, he’s gone.”
Rollo’s still just 7. When Jordon was seasoning him at a few rodeos last year, Justin placed on him at the World Series Roping in Hamilton, Texas. He’s not roping on him right at the moment, for risk of hurting the horse that’s feeding their young family. The Briggs’ baby girl, Bex, who’s 3, arrived yesterday with Jordon’s mom and World Champion Barrel Racer Mom, Kristie Peterson, just in time to serve as a good luck charm.
Justin and Jordon make a living training and selling horses. Not this one.
“Jordon’s trained a lot of nice horses,” Justin said. “We decided as a family to keep this one. Jordon deserves to keep Rollo. The good news is, he’s still young enough that I can maybe rope on him when Jordon’s done rodeoing on him.”
Justin and Jordon joke that the rule that does not allow horses ridden at the NFR to appear anywhere else this week may have kept Rollo from double duty at the World Series of Team Roping Finale over at the South Point.
“If horses are good enough and have strong arena presence, I also like taking them to the American Rope Horse Futurity Association events (Jordon won $555,000 on Rollo at the barrel racing futurities when he was 5),” said Justin, who’s roping here at the World Series Finale by day, and walking Jordon and Rollo down the alley each night. “I roped on Rollo at the finals in Fort Worth in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and placed on him in the heading at the futurity in Tulsa over the Fourth of July last year.”
Jordon first came to the Finals with Momma Kristie—who answers to “Mimi” when Bexley calls—when she was 4.
“I tell everybody, ‘I’ve run barrels in Vegas more than anyone—it was just on a stick horse around Styrofoam cups,’” smiled Jordon, who’s competing at the second NFR of her career. “It’s good to be back. Justin and I could finally afford to keep one, and Rollo came along at the perfect time.”