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Childhood passion grows into career for local cowgirl

By bY CLAY WHITTINGTON - CWHITTINGTON@VICAD.COM
Dec. 14, 2011 at 6:14 a.m.
Updated Dec. 15, 2011 at 6:15 a.m.

Brittany Pozzi rounds a barrel during one of her runs at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Winning world titles appears to be the easy part.

The hardest part came 20-something years earlier when Brittany Pozzi first attempted to convince her father she needed a horse.

As a young girl, the Victoria native became wildly fascinated with horses and, like many little girls, relentlessly begged for one.

Unlike others, however, eventually her father caved in.

But not without a little added assistance.

"We were both on him," Brittany's mother Denise Pozzi said. "It probably took a year. We really had to work on him."

The persistence paid off.

Brittany is now a two-time world champion barrel racer, winning titles in 2007 and 2009, with career earnings well over $1 million.

And it all started with a horse named Black.

"This is definitely what I have always wanted to do," Brittany said. "I never really saw myself having a nine-to-five."

Due to her success, she has never needed to either.

Entering the recent National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, she was sitting atop the world standings once again, but slipped to second behind Lindsay Sears following the competition.

Despite the slight slide, she has earned $192,724.80 to date this year, trailing Sears by approximately $46,000.

While Brittany's life is her dream come true, she takes her career very seriously.

"I'm very proud, but, like any competitor, I always strive for more," she said. "It is not easy to always stay No. 1."

Her extremely competitive nature was visible even at a young age.

"I'd try to help her tie her shoes when she was four years old, and she'd say 'No, I can do it by myself,'" Denise said. "It was always there."

As an amateur, Brittany won the Texas High School Finals barrel racing championship, the National High School Rodeo Association barrel racing championship and the College Southern Region championship.

After joining the Women's Professional Rodeo Association in 2003, she finished seventh in the world standings as a rookie.

In the years since, she has qualified for the NFR - known as the Super Bowl of rodeo - seven times.

Having accomplished so much already, it is difficult for Brittany to determine specific career goals she still desires to attain.

But, just like when she was a little girl, she definitely knows what she wants to do.

"I just want to stay on top until I don't have a horse to ride anymore" Brittany said.

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