STRONG START Pozzi Tonozzi Adds San Angelo Title to 2020 Accomplishments By Ted Harbin B rittany Pozzi Tonozzi saved the best for last. Well, her horse, Ima Famous Babe, did anyway. After posting the second-fastest run of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo during the Feb. 8 performance, Pozzi Tonozzi and Katniss entered the championship round sitting No. 2 in the average. As the gunner, the tandem rounded the cloverleaf pattern in 13.93 seconds, by far the fastest run inside Foster Communications Coliseum this year.
The end result was a solid victory in the three-run aggregate, with Pozzi Tonozzi’s 44.15 outdistancing second-place Wenda Johnson by nearly half a second. “Being first out on the ground always helps,” said Pozzi Tonozzi, a two-time world champion from Lampasas, Texas. “I’d never ran her in that arena before. My first run in that arena was great. By the second time, she was confident in the start and knew where the barrels were. I knew I had to get around them. My main goal was to keep the barrels up, make a smooth run and see what they pay me.” Oh, she got paid. By placing in the second and short rounds and winning the average, Pozzi Tonozzi pocketed $13,676 in the west Texas community of about 100,000 people. By mid-February, she was second in the world standings with more than $36,000 in 2020 earnings. “It’s always nice to start off your year strong,” she said. “Then when it comes down to the end of the year or the middle of the summer, you don’t have to go as much, put as many runs on your horses. “The last couple of years, I haven’t had a very good indoor horse, so I had to wait through the winter rodeos and try to win a bunch in the summer. Having a good winter is going to let me ride my futurity horses and do the futurity thing more. It’s always nice to have a good winter.”
The big change came with Katniss, a 7-year-old chestnut mare that Pozzi Tonozzi raised and trained. She usually futurities her horses during their 4-year-old year, but that coincided with the birth of her daughter, Tinlee. So, the process was delayed. It hasn’t seemed to bother the red speedster, though. “The mare had to wait until she was 5 to futurity,” she said. “I spent last year seasoning her and running her in a few situations where it was good for her. Now, I put the gas down.” By doing so, she claimed the San Angelo title for the fourth time in her illustrious career. Overall, Pozzi Tonozzi has done just about everything possible. She is a 13-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, a two-time NFR average winner and is a two-time champion of the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo. She and Katniss posted a 16.12-second run to finish just out of the money in the opening round run in a larger pen at 1 st Community Federal Credit Union Spur Arena. That took place a few weeks prior to the opening performance – and the beginning of the second round – on Jan. 30. As usual, the field of ladies was large, making it a true horserace to see which competitors would advance through the progressive and into the performances. “It wasn’t anything stellar,” Pozzi Tonozzi said of their first-round run. “I hadn’t run her since Vegas, so she wasn’t super sharp. That first round is so tough there because it’s more of a jackpot setting. “It’s one of the winter rodeos that everybody can compete at. As long as you have a card, you can compete.” Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Katniss took advantage of the top of the ground in the final round in San Angelo to turn in a blistering time of 13.93 seconds and capture the three-run aggregate title with a total time of 44.15 seconds. Photo by Ric Anderson
Two-time world champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi is loving how her 7-year mare Ima Famous Babe is performing at the ProRodeos. The duo pocketed $13,676 in San Angelo and is currently in the top five of the 2020 WPRA ProRodeo Standings. Photo by Ric Anderson
32 WPRA NEWS MARCH 2020
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