The Bits That Won the World: 1984-2022

Sherry Cervi barrel racing on Stingray.
Sherry Cervi and MP Meter My Hay at the NFR. Hubbell rodeo photos.

Barrel racers love to know what bits are winning on the top barrel horses in the world.

It’s no secret. There’s a certain fascination at that little piece of expertly twisted metal—and all its add-ons—that control the animals that headline the ProRodeo trail with expert jockeys on board. So what are those iconic headgear types? BRM contributor Tanya Randall expertly crafted the rundown on the coveted bits and headgear worn by the world champion barrel horses that have topped the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association for the past few decades.

2018-2020, 2022: Hailey Kinsel

NFR Horse: DM Sissy Hayday (“Sister”)

Bit: Reinsman Johnson Hackamore

Headgear: Flat Leather Tiedown

Find it here: Johnson Hackamore

Hailey Kinsel and Sister at the 2022 NFR
Hailey Kinsel and Sister winning round 3 of the 2022 NFR. Image by Ric Andersen/CBarC Photography.

From Hack to Hollis – A bit change for Hailey Kinsel and “Sister”

2021: Jordon Briggs

NFR Horse: Famous Lil Jet (“Rollo”)

Bit: Kerry Kelley Chain Port Hemi, No Hit Bit Rope Nose Hackamore

Find them here: Hemi Chain Port ;  NHB Rope Nose Hackamore; and NHB Rollo Hack used in 2023.

Jordon Briggs and Rollo barrel racing at the National Finals Rodeo.
Jordon Briggs and Famous Lil Jet winning NFR Round 8.

Learn from Hailey Kinsel and Jordon Briggs at

2017: Nellie Miller

NFR Horse: Rafter W Minnie Reba (“Sister”)

Bit: Classic Equine Sherry Cervi Lifter

Find it here: Cervi Diamond Lifter

Nellie Miller and Rafter W Minnie Reba at the 2017 NFR. Hubbell Rodeo Photos.

2016: Mary Burger

NFR Horse: Sadiefamouslastwords (“Mo”)

Bit: Shanked rope nose combination with three-piece mouth, brand unknown

Headgear: Rope Headsetter

Similar: Josey Million Dollar Bit

2015: Callie duPerier

NFR Horse: Rare Dillion 

Bit: Short straight shank lifter with no gag, brand unknown

Fun Fact: Dillion ran in a short shank Jim Warner in his NFR appearances with trainer Annesa Self and later with Carlee (Pierce) Otero.

Similar: Camarillo Lite Lifter

2014: Fallon Taylor

NFR Horse: Flos Heiress (“Baby Flo”)

Bit: Long shank sharp-angled lifter gag, unknown maker

Headgear: Padded rope nose tiedown

Fun Fact: Taylor bought Baby Flo’s bit at a garage sale for less than $20

Fallon Taylor turns a barrel on BabyFlo at the National Finals Rodeo.
Fallon Taylor and Flos Heiress at the 2014 NFR. Hubbell Rodeo photos.

2013, 2010: Sherry Cervi

NFR Horse: MP Meter My Hay “Stingray”

Bit: Carolina Bits Short Shank Lifter

Headgear: Leather tiedown

Find it here: Short Shank Lifter

2012: Mary Walker

NFR Horse: Perculatin (“Latte”)

Bit: Loomis Gag

Similar: Classic Equine Loomis

Lindsay Sears and Martha at the NFR.
Lindsay Sears and Sugar Moon Express. Hubbell Rodeo Photos.

2008, 2011: Lindsay Sears

NFR Horse: Sugar Moon Express (“Martha”)

Bit: Carol Goostree Simplicity

Find it here: Simplicity

2009: Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi

2009 NFR Horse: Yeah Hes Firen (“Duke”)

Bit: Jim Warner Hackamore later Professional’s Choice Pozzi Hackamore, Mike Quick Bit three-piece mouth with a copper roller

Find them here: Pozzi Hackamore or Jim Warner HackamoreQuick Bit

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Duke turn the second barrel at the 2009 NFR.
Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Yeah Hes Firen at the 2009 NFR.

2007: Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi

2007 NFR Horse: Sixth Vision (“Stitch”)

Bit: Jim Warner Hackamore later Professional’s Choice Pozzi Hackamore, Ed Wright Long Shank Lifter

Find them here: Pozzi Hackamore or Jim Warner HackamoreWright Long Shank Lifter

2006: Mary Burger

NFR Horse: Rare Fred 

Bit: Medium shank gag, similar to an H-gag or Hollis gag

Similar: H Gag

Mary Burger turns a barrel at the 2006 NFR.
Mary Burger and Rare Fred at the 2006 NFR. Image by Hubbell Rodeo Photos.

2004-2005: Kelly Kaminski

NFR Horse:  Rockem Sockem Go (“Rocky”)

Bit: Custom Neil Merrill rope nose combination 

Order here:

Kelly Kaminski barrel races at the NFR.
Kelly Kaminski and Rockem Sockem Go at the 2006 NFR.

2003: Janae Ward Massey

NFR Horse: Dynas Plain Special “Dee Dee”

Bit: O-ring with a smaller dogbone mouth

Fun Fact: Massey won her early season money on Cole And Cole with the same bit.

2002: Charmayne James

NFR Horse: Cruisin On Six (“Crusier”)

Bit: Mike Quick with a solid medium port with a copper roller

Find it here: Quick Bit

2001: Janet Stover

NFR Horse: Nate Shalibar (“Hotshot”)

Bit: Ed Wright Hackamore

Fun Fact: Won her early season money on Gotewin Bo with Carolina mullen-mouth bit or a three-piece with a small port.

Find it here:

2000: Kappy Allen

NFR Horse: Risky Chris

Bit: Rope nose O-ring combination

Headgear: Tiedown

Similar: O-Ring Combination

1999: Sherry Cervi

NFR Horse: Jet Royal Speed (“Hawk”)

Bit: Shanked broken-mouth port, maker unknown

Headgear: Rope nose tiedown

1996-1998, 1994: Kristie Peterson

NFR Horse: French Flash Hawk (“Bozo”)

Bit: Ugly Hackamore (available today as Classic Equine’s Bozo Sidepull)

Find it here: Bozo Sidepull

1995: Sherry Cervi

NFR Horse: Sir Double Delight (“Troubles”)

Bit: Long Shank Ed Wright Lifter with a three-piece mouth

Find it here:

1984-1993: Charmayne James

NFR Horse: Gils Bay Boy (“Scamper”)

Bit: Mike Quick with a solid high port with a copper roller

Find it here: Quick Bit

Charmayne James and Scamper.
11-time World Champion Charmayne James and Scamper, Gills Bay Boy. Image courtesy James.

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