NFR 2023 Story

NFR 2023 Story

Summer Kosel Brought the Heat in the Fifth Round of the Wrangler NFR

By Ann Bleiker

Photos by Kenneth Springer

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Summer Kosel, who is competing in her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, brought the heat during the fifth round turning in the fastest time thus far of the 2023 edition.

Summer Kosel
Photo by Kenneth Springer

Firewaterfrenchfame better known as Apollo stopped the clock in a time of 13.42 seconds as the first runner out on Tuesday night. Last week, Apollo was voted as the Scoti Flit Bar Rising Star Award winner and the 8-year-old bay gelding showed the sold-out crowd just how good he is.

            “It is pretty amazing,” said Kosel, who hails from Glenham, South Dakota, when asked what her first NFR win felt like. “Tonight, I just stayed out of his and God’s way and it worked out. It just came together. Apollo is pretty amazing.”

            With the win Kosel adds $30,706 to her 2023 earnings which will go a long way in buying Christmas presents for her four girls ages 17, 13, 12 and 8.

            “When I made it here, I made up my mind I was going to have fun,” stated Kosel about what her first experience at the NFR has been like. “The hard work was over, and we made it here. Everyone asking me for a game plan, and I said, ‘anytime I have had a game plan it has never gone well.’ I just wing it and live on a prayer, and we just send it every run.”

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi
Photo by Kenneth Springer

While Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi has yet to visit the winner’s circle she continues to remain in the NFR news. A day after surpassing the $1 million mark in NFR earnings alone, tonight she finished second in a time of 13.58 seconds to set a new all-time WPRA season earnings record with $372,683. The old record was set in 2018 by current world champion Hailey Kinsel with $350,700.

            Pozzi Tonozzi still leads the average race in a time of 68.27 seconds on five runs. She is not only looking to add her third gold buckle to her trophy case but also a third NFR average title. Her previous average titles came in 2006 and 2007 and previous world titles were 2007 and 2009.

Jessica Routier
Photo by Kenneth Springer

Kosel along with several other ladies are also in the hunt for the 2023 Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award presented by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Fans can vote daily for the lady they believe brought the best fashion to the round. Fan votes along with committee votes will determine the winner after nine rounds.

            There will be a double-header for the first time in NFR history on Wednesday when the make-up round for the postponement last Thursday will take place at 10 a.m. PT. The seventh round will be as scheduled at 5:45 p.m. PT. Both performances will be LIVE on the Cowboy Channel.


Rd. 5 results:

431 South Cascade
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

(719) 447-4627
(719) 447-4631 (fax)

431 South Cascade
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

(719) 447-4627   |   (719) 447-4631 (fax)


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