By Ann Bleiker
WPRA barrel racer and two-time world champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi is back in familiar territory – on top of the leaderboard for the Fourth of July run, known in the rodeo world as Cowboy Christmas. Pozzi Tonozzi was needing a big week and it all fell together nicely for the 33-year old new mom.
“My expectations are always high to do well but it doesn’t always work out that way,” said Pozzi Tonozzi, who won $20,654. “The last couple of years, I have been seasoning new colts and it has been a struggle but I definitely wanted to win enough to get me closer to the top 15 this week. I kept telling Garrett (her husband) that I needed a big lick somewhere, I needed to just win first somewhere to get me back in contention. I did a pretty good job of it this week.”
Pozzi Tonozzi competed in nine rodeos from June 26-July 4, winning money at seven of them on three different horses. Her biggest paychecks came at the Greeley (Colo.) Independence Stampede where she finished second in the average winning a total of $9,457, and at the World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, Ariz., where she captured the title and a check worth $5,462. At both of those rodeos she called upon the services of her main mount Steele Magnolias “Steeley.” She also jockeyed the 10-year old mare around the cloverleaf pattern in Oakley City, Utah, placing 14th and adding another $360.
She jumped on KissKiss BangBang “Mona,” her 7-year old mare in Livingston, Mont., Window Rock, Ariz., and at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo qualifier in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she added $2,828, $1,452, and $485, respectively. The third horse that carried her to the pay window in West Jordan, Utah, was one she has only had for a couple of months that she calls Rusty. The duo picked up $610 after finishing in a tie for sixth.
Pozzi Tonozzi was hoping for a big week to not only move up in the world standings but also secure a spot in the upcoming $1 million Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City. The top 10 in the world standings was one way to qualify and when the dust settled and new standings were released on July 5, Pozzi Tonozzi was 10th with $46,975, punching her ticket to Salt Lake City.
“This was a good week to start winning as I think this will move me into the top 10, which was perfect timing for Salt Lake,” said Pozzi Tonozzi of qualifying for Salt Lake City. “I can’t get too excited yet, as I need to keep my head down and keep it rolling. My horses are sound and running good, so I am excited to see what the rest of the month has in store.”
The last time Pozzi Tonozzi topped the leaderboard during Cowboy Christmas was in 2012 when she won the most of any WPRA or PRCA member with $27,789. Her largest amount won during this time was in 2009, the last time she won a world title, with $29,372.
Rounding out the top three in Cowboy Christmas standings were Carman Pozzobon with $16,540 after a big win in Ponoka, Alberta, as Canada celebrated their 150th Birthday on July 1. Tammy Fischer was third with $13,681 after winning big at the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede. Fischer also collected checks at Greeley, Colo., Red Lodge, Mont., Belle Fourche, S.D., Mobridge, S.D. and Colorado Springs, Colo., qualifier.
World standings leader Tiany Schuster added another $13,446 running her 2017 earnings to $163,457.
A full recap of the Fourth of July rodeos will be available in the August issue of the WPRA News.
Top 10 WPRA Money earners over the Fourth of July
1. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi – $20,654
2. Carman Pozzobon – $16,540
3. Tammy Fischer – $13,681
4. Tiany Schuster – $13,446
5. Nellie Miller – $13,218
6. Stevi Hillman – $13,164
7. Syndi Blanchard – $11,535
8. Ericka Nelson – $11,090
9. Hailey Kinsel – $10,387
10. Taci Bettis – $10,258
Top 20 as of July 5, 2017
1.Tiany Schuster – Krum, Texas – $163,457
2.Kathy Grimes – Medical Lake, Wash. – $91,503
3. Stevi Hillman – Weatherford, Texas – $90,523
4.Kassie Mowr – yDublin, Texas – $89,918
5.Amberleigh Moore – Salem, Ore. – $86,983
6.Nellie Miller – Cottonwood, Calif. – $73,320
7.Tillar Murray – Fort Worth, Texas – $59,462
8.Kellie Collier – Hereford, Texas – $52,688
9.Sydni Blanchard – Albuquerque, N.M. – $47,664
10.Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi – Victoria, Texas – $46,975
11.Tammy Fischer – Ledbetter, Texas – $45,640
12.Ari-Anna Flynn – Charleston, Ark. – $45,599
13.Taylor Langdon – Aubrey, Texas – $43,075
14.Ivy Conrado – Hudson, Colo. – $42,796
15.Carley Richardson – Pampa, Texas – $40,364
16.Taci Bettis (R) – Round Top, Texas – $38,830
17.Emily Miller – Weatherford, Okla. – $38,605
18.Cayla Small – Bokchito, Okla. – $37,761
19. Kimmie Wall – Roosevelt, Utah – $35,430
20.Carmel Wright – Roy, Mont. – $34,942
Courtesy of WPRA