postheadericon Pozzi poised for run at another title

Brittany Pozzi rides Duke to the finish line in 15.42 seconds to finish second in the second round and the two-run aggregate. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

Brittany Pozzi rides Duke to the finish line in 15.42 seconds to finish second in the second round and the two-run aggregate. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

OKLAHOMA CITY – All Brittany Pozzi wanted was a chance to repeat as the national champion barrel racer.

Through four performances of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, the 2012 champion is one of the lead contenders in the race for the coveted title. On Saturday afternoon at State Fair Arena, she and her great horse, Duke, rounded the cloverleaf pattern in 15.42 seconds for the fastest run of the day so far. She finished the second round in second place, and her two-run cumulative time of 31.03 seconds has her runner-up in the average.

So far the two-time world champion from Victoria, Texas, has earned $7,816 and trails just leader Carlee Pierce, who won both rounds and the average. They’ll lead the parade of eight cowgirls who qualify for the semifinals, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“I did not know how awesome the Ram finals were until I made them last year,” said Pozzi, a nine-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “Now every year from now on I’ll make sure I make my (Texas) Circuit Finals. It’s really awesome to be here.”

The top six contestants in both go-rounds and the average earned checks over the last three days of competition. Only the top eight in each event qualify for Saturday night, which offers a sudden death format – the previous scores will be thrown out, and only the top four times or scores will advance into the finals directly following the semifinals.

For Pozzi, it helps greatly that her partner is in top form. Duke has been one of the top barrel horses in rodeo for several years.

“He felt outstanding,” she said of Duke. “It’s been a really hard winter. He’s been off and on, hurt and not hurt. I’ve actually been on him for a couple of runs, and he’s coming back really strong.”

Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo
April 4-6, Oklahoma City
Second round results
Bareback riding:
1. (tie) Kaycee Feild, Spanish Fork, Utah, on Korkow Rodeo’s Arabella, and Tim O’Connell, Swigle, Iowa, on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change, 85 points, $3,976 each; 3. Clint Cannon, Waller, Texas, 83, $2,468; 4. Caleb Bennett, Morgan, Utah, 82, $1,645; 5. Jared Keylon, Uniontown, Kan.; Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D., Caine Riddle, Vernon, Texas, and Tyson Thompson, Bradley, Calif., 81, $411 each. Average and semifinals qualifiers: Tim O’Connell, $4,525; 2. Caleb Bennett, $3,428; 3. Jared Keylon, $2,468; 4. Joe Gunderson, $1,645; 5. Clint Cannon and Jessy Davis, $823; 7. Wes Stevenson; 8. Bobby Mote.

Steer wrestling: 1. Ethen Thouvenell, Wittmann, Ariz., 3.2 seconds, $4,525;2. Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., 4.5, $3,428;3. (tie) Jon Ragatz, Beetown, Wis., and Jason Miller, Lance Creek, Wyo., 4.8, $2,057; 5. Sean Santucci, Prineville, Ore., 5.1, $960; 6. (tie) Nik Hamm, Rapid City, S.D., and Trevor Duhon, Phoenix, Ariz., 5.3, $343 each. Average and semifinals qualifiers: 1. Jason Miller, Lance Creek, Wyo., 9.1 seconds on two head, $4,525; 2. Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., 9.2, $3,428; 3. Sean Santucci, Prineville, Ore., 9.5, $2,468; 4. Ethen Thouvenell, Wittmann, Ariz., 9.7, $1,645; 5. Seth Brockman, Wheatland, Wyo., 10.5, $960; 6. Stockton Graves, Alva, Okla., 10.6, $686; 7. Nik Hamm, Rapid City, S.D., 12.8; 8. Trevor Duhon, Phoenix, Ariz., 13.2.

Tie-down roping: 1. tie) Bryson Sechrist, Apache, Okla., 8.8 seconds, and Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, 8.8 seconds, $3,976; 3. (tie) Shane Erickson, Terrebonne, Ore., and Jesse Clark, Portales, N.M., 9.0, $2,057 each; 5. Tim Pharr, Resaca, Ga., 9.3, $960; 6. Bryant Mikkelson, Buffalo, Mont., 9.4, $686. Average and semifinals qualifiers: 1. Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, 17.7 seconds on two head, $4,525;2. Shane Erickson, Terrebonne, Ore., 18.4, $3,428; 3. Scott Kormos, Teague, Texas, and Jesse Clark, Portales, N.M., 19.7, $1,303;6. Dane Kissack, Spearfish, S.D., 20.4, $686; 7. (tie) Jody Green, Shakopee, Minn., and J.R. Myers, Felton, Pa., 20.8.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., on Painted Pony Champ. Rodeo’s Shasta, and Curtis Garton, New Zealand, on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Empty Pockets,82 points, $3,976; 3. Mert Bradshaw, Eagle Point, Ore., 81, $2,468; 4. (tie) Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, and Troy Crowser, Whitewood, S.D., 80, $1,303 each; 6. (tie) Andy Clarys, Riverton, Wyo., Joaquin Real, Woody, Calif., and Cody Taton, Corona, N.M., 78, $229 each. Average and semifinals qualifiers: 1. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 167 points on two head, $4,525; 2. Curtis Garton, New Zealand, 162, $3,428; 3. Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, 158, $2,468;4. Mert Bradshaw, Eagle Point, Ore., 157, $1,645; 5. Cody Taton, Corona, N.M., 156, $960; 6. (tie) Jacobs Crawley, College Station, Texas, and Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 155, $343 each; 8. Andy Clarys, Riverton, Wyo., 154.

Team roping: 1. Preston Billadeau, Parshall, N.D./Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, Neb., 4.8 seconds, $4,525;2. Jay Tittel, Pueblo, Colo./Shay Carroll, La Junta, Colo., 5.2, $3,428; 3. Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz./Nick Sarchett, Phoenix, Ariz., 5.3, $2,468; 4. Arky Rogers, Lipan, Texas/Joel Bach, Rhome, Texas, 5.4, $1,645; 5. Miles Kobold, Billings, Mont./Matt Robertson, Augusta, , 5.8, $960; 6. Nelson Linares, Plant City, Fla./Shawn Harris, Searcy, Ark., 6.0, $686. Average and semifinals qualifiers: 1. Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz./Nick Sarchett, Phoenix, Ariz., 11.4 seconds on two head, $4,525; 2. Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz./Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz., 11.6, $3,428; 3. Miles Kobold, Billings, Mont./Matt Robertson, Augusta, , 11.7, $2,468; 4. Nelson Linares, Plant City, Fla./Shawn Harris, Searcy, Ark., 12.1, $1,645; 5. Shane Erickson, Terrebonne, Ore./Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., 12.2, $960; 6. Spencer Mitchell, Colusa, Calif./Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., 13.3, $686; 7. Marcus Battaglia, Ramona, Calif./Kyle Lockett, Visalia, Calif., 15.8; 8. Arky Rogers, Lipan, Texas/Joel Bach, Rhome, Texas, 16.0.

Barrel racing: 1. Carlee Pierce, Stephenville, Texas, 15.25 seconds, $4,525; 2. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 15.42, $3,428; 3. Barbara Merrill, Axtell, Utah, 15.50, $2,468; 4. Sherry Cannon, Saint Augustine, Fla., 15.56, $1,645; 5. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 15.59, $960; 6.Nancy Hunter, Neola, Utah, 15.68, $686. Average and semifinals qualifiers: 1. Carlee Pierce, Stephenville, Texas, 30.67 seconds on two runs, $4,525; 2. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 31.03, $3,428; 3. (tie) Theresa Walter, Billings, Mont., 31.30, and Cindy Smith, Hobbs, N.M., 31.30, $2,057 each; 5. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 31.31, $960; 6. Barbara Merrill, Axtell, Utah, 31.35, $686; 7. Nancy Hunter, Neola, Utah, 31.49; 8. Pamela Capper, Cheney, Wash., 31.53.

Bull riding: 1. John Young, Orient, Iowa, 86 points on Painted Pony Champ. Rodeo’s Million Dollar Man, $4,525; 2. Tag Elliott, Thatcher, Utah, 83, $3,428; 3. Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah, 79, $2,468; 4. Sammy Matthews, Springville, Calif., 78, $1,645; 5. Abe Dillman, Grassy Butte, N.D., 74, $960; 6. Bryce Brown, Greenview, Calif., 68, $686. Average and semifinals qualifiers: 1. John Young, Orient, Iowa, 170 points on two head, $4,525; 2. Bryce Brown, Greenview, Calif., 146, $3,428; 3. Dylan Werner, Perry, Fla., 89 on one, $2,468; 4. Tag Elliott, Thatcher, Utah, 83, $1,645; 5. Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah, 79, $960; 6. Sammy Matthews, Springville, Calif., 78, $686; 7. Abe Dillman, Grassy Butte, N.D., 74.

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