By Ann Bleiker
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – Success in the sport of barrel racing or breakaway roping doesn’t just fall on the human athlete but also the equine athlete. While the WPRA and AQHA have annually honored the top equine partners that carry WPRA barrel racers to the winner’s circle dating back to 1989, this year marks the first year breakaway roping horses are also being recognized.
The Nutrena Horse of the Year presented by AQHA were unveiled on October 14 following the conclusion of voting by the Top 25 in each respective event.
Taking top honors in the barrel racing was Famous Lil Jet “Rollo” ridden by Jordon Briggs and owned by Jordon and her husband, Justin.
“I’m really proud that other people—my peers, people I’ve competed against and looked up to—that they think that of him as well,” said Briggs upon learning that Rollo had won this coveted title. “He’s very consistent and seems to know not to hit a barrel. Ever since he was a futurity colt, I told my husband, if any horse deserves to go make ten runs in that arena (Thomas and Mack), it’s this horse . . . I just didn’t know if I’d be the one to take him or sell him to someone else to do it.
“My whole life, my favorite thing has been training futurity colts. I trained them, sold them and started over, trained them, sold them and started over. But I knew I’d never be able to train another one like him so I just couldn’t make myself sell him. He means the world to my whole family. We all wake up to feed Rollo every day, he’s very special to all of us.”
Rollo has carried Briggs to wins in Dodge City, KS, Abilene, KS, Red Lodge, MT, Fort Smith, AR and to her second NFR qualification. They also tied for the win in Guymon, OK, with second place Horse of the Year finisher DM Sissy Hayday “Sister” owned and ridden by Hailey Kinsel.
Rounding out the top three in the barrel racing category resulted in a tie with Fiery Miss West “Missy” ridden by Jessica Routier and owned by Gary Westergren and HR Fameskissandtell “Kiss” owned and ridden by Shelley Morgan.
On the breakaway side winning the inaugural Nutrena Horse of the Year presented by AQHA title was Shelby Boisjoli’s horse – No Wimpy Turns “Onna.” This is a horse she has relied on in 2021 and recently carried her to the win at the ProRodeo Tour Finale in Salinas to return to the top of the world standings.
“She’s kind of a quirky horse but she’s also just a big teddy bear,” said Boisjoli about her 6-year old mare. “She’s one of those horses who doesn’t like to do bad . . . she knows when she does bad and gets really upset about it. I just love her, she means the world to me and I literally cherish every single run with her.”
2021 WPRA Breakaway Roping Rookie of the Year Madison Outhier credits her horse Allo Gallo Colonel “Rooster” for her success and they finished second in the Horse of the Year voting. Erin Johnson, who has won three WPRA breakaway roping world titles, has ridden Husker Be Smokin “Chico” to a third place ranking heading into the National Finals Breakaway Roping and a third place finish in the Horse of the Year voting in 2021.
Congratulations to all the winners.
1. Famous Lil Jet, “Rollo,” ridden by Jordon Briggs and owned by Justin and Jordon Briggs
2. DM Sissy Hayday, “Sister,” ridden and owned by Hailey Kinsel
3. (tie) Fiery Miss West, “Missy,” ridden by Jessica Routier and owned by Gary A Westergren
HR Fameskissandtell, “Kiss,” ridden and owned by Shelley Morgan
1. No Wimpy Turns, “Onna,” ridden and owned by Shelby Boisjoli
2. Allo Gallo Colonel, “Rooster,” ridden and owned by Madison Outhier
3. Husker Be Smokin, “Chico,” ridden by Erin Johnson and owned by Darnell & Erin Johnson