Past Rodeo Queens


Hi everyone! My name is Jasmine Valenta and I am the 2018 Queen! I graduated high school in 2016 from Mosinee High and I now have just completed my sophomore year at UW-River Falls. There I am studying animal science, meat animals. I am also very involved on campus. I am a part of a nationally recognized agriculture sorority, Sigma Alpha and I am an officer in the Swine Club.

Horses have been a huge part of my life. From my first time on a horse I was hooked. For as long as I can remember, I have been riding and showing horses. I have shown a very wide range of disciplines: from driving to English to Western, I have tried it all at one point. I mainly did my showing through 4-H and fun shows and I was fairly successful. When I aged out of 4-H I decided it was time for me to try something new, that is when I signed up to compete to be the next rodeo queen. So far it has been an amazing adventure and I thank God every day for this amazing opportunity I received.

Outside of horses, I currently work in River Falls at a winery, 65 Vines, and an assisted living home. Besides working in, my free time I love to be outdoors fishing, snowmobiling, hunting and camping. What can I say? I just really love to be outdoors.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve as your 2018 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Queen. It has been amazing being able to travel around and spread my love of rodeo and horses to everyone. I am extremely grateful for all the support I have received for everyone and cannot say ‘Thank You’ enough. I am very excited for this year’s Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo and I hope


Hello! My name is Madison Schulz and I am the 2018 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Princess. I am currently a Senior at Merrill High school. Aside from school, I am Involved in the Merrill Busy Bees 4-H Club and am the Youth Vice President for the Lincoln County 4-H horse project. I also am an active member of the Badger Horse Show Association, the Merrill Riders Club, and Wisconsin NBHA. Horses and the sport of Rodeo have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I began barrel racing on my own when I was just 4 years old and have been competing ever since. Outside of school and barrel racing, I enjoy showing my chickens at the fair, fishing, and spending time with my family and friends.

After School, I plan to attend college and pursue a career in both Human and Equine chiropractic. I’m beyond excited to meet new people and help share my passion for the sport of rodeo as your 2018 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Princess!

Trystin LeSage, 2017 WRPR Queen

Hello everyone! My name is Trystin LeSage and I am a 2015 Wausau East graduate. While in high school I was a part of the Youth Apprenticeship Program working at a local small animal clinic as well as taking IB classes and maintaining a competitive GPA. At the moment I am working towards my dream of becoming a large animal veterinarian. I am currently still employed at the small animal clinic as well as a dairy embryo transfer company.

One of my earlier memories as a child is being with my grandma and being surrounded by a variety of animals. She had everything from cats and dogs to birds and hamsters. My grandma was also the person who introduced me to and gave me my first ride on a horse. From that time on they became a large part of my life.

When I was in middle school I joined 4H, Wisconsin Interscholastic Horsemanship Association, and FFA and began showing horses at the local fair. After two years of leasing horses I finally saved up enough money to buy Taffy. She became the first horse I owned, trained, went to state 4H with, and had that special bond with. From there I began showing Gypsy Vanners for a breeder at shows such as the North American Championships. One day my friend approached me and told me about the gymkhanas that are held in Merrill. She offered to trailer my horse and from there I began participating in the Friday night gymkhanas.

Outside of horses I enjoy fourwheeling, snowmobiling, fishing, spending time with friends and family, and being a part time nanny for 3 sweet girls.

I am looking forward to promoting the sport of rodeo in the upcoming year as the 2017 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo queen.  Not only am I excited for the experiences but also for the opportunities to meet new people and spread my passion for rodeo.

Kaiti Bargender, 2017 WRPR Princess

Hi! My name is Kaiti Bargender and I am the 2017 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Princess! I’m the daughter of Tom and Brenda Bargender, and we live on the east side of Wausau. Currently I am a junior at Wausau East High School. Alongside school, I’m an active member in both Wausau FFA and Badger 4H as well as Wausau East Alpine ski and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Horsemanship Association, or high school competitive horse team. Horses have been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started riding when I was around three, with my first show being when I was four. Showing these amazing animals has taken me places further than I could have hoped on my own. Outside of the horse world I love hunting, fishing, shooting my bow, surfing and skiing. After highschool I plan on serving my country through the United States Army and then graduating from UW- Riverfalls or UW- Madison with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. I’m extremely honored to be this years princess!

WRPR Queen Trystin LeSage and Princess Kaiti Bargender attend the Crowning of Alice in Dairyland at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, 05/13/17.

Raising Money for Tough Enough to Wear Pink at Marathon Feed’s Spring Open House, 05/13/17.

Morgan Zernicke, 2016 WRPR Queen

My name is Morgan Zernicke. My parents are Michael Zernicke and Patti Zernicke. I was born and raised in Wausau, WI. I have had horses since I’ve been 5 years old. I took riding lessons before I had a horse of my own. I even did horseless horse in 4H for a few years before I had my own horse. I have attended the WI River Pro Rodeo since I can remember.

I participate in the Merrill gymkhanas and fall trail ride on weekends in the eastern part of the state. I recently purchased my horse, Bullseye, a four year old registered quarter horse that I plan to use in the rodeo this year. I am a customer service representative at Marathon Feed Inc. and help on my family’s dairy farm.

I graduated from Wausau West High School in 2012. I am a 2014 graduate from Northcentral Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Agri­Business. I was presented with the Outstanding Graduate of the Agri­Business associate degree program. My future goal is to pursue a career in Agriculture Sales.

In my spare time, I enjoy bow hunting, motocross racing, showing livestock, and spending time on my horse.

I am looking forward to being a part of the rodeo’s tradition. If I am chosen for Rodeo Queen, I will represent the rodeo with integrity and honor.

April Geier, 2016 WRPR Princess

My name is April Geier and I am a freshman at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. I am majoring in chiropractic care for animals where. I will continue my schooling at a UW College I was born and raised in Wausau, Wisconsin.

My passion for horses grew when I was 14 years old. I love riding and am slowly training my mare Pearls to do barrels. Pearls and I have developed a very strong bond and we have learned so much together. As I began to feel more comfortable I began riding at different horse shows and fun shows. I believe horses are my lifelong passion. I remember being younger and going to rodeos and being the girl who always LOVED watching the girls carrying the flags and hoped one day that could be me. That is why I am very excited and blessed to have the opportunity to run for Wisconsin River Pro rodeo queen 2016.

Outside of riding my grandparents have a boat on Lake Michigan and I enjoy fishing, and long boat rides. I always remember that “no star is too far.”

Katelin Bradley, 2015 WRPR Queen

My name is Katelin Bradley, your 2015 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Queen!  I am a junior at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point majoring in Soil and Land Management with hopes of a future career in agriculture. I was born and raised in Crandon, Wisconsin. Growing up, I always had horses. I got my first pony, Sunny, when I was three years old and I started showing at local shows and fairs when I was just five.

When I was older, I got more competitive in barrel racing. I joined the International Barrel Racing Association and qualified for the National Finals my first year as a member. When I was a junior in high school, my love for thoroughbred racing inspired me to adopt two racehorses off of the track. Training them was a huge challenge, but it was very rewarding when I was finally able to compete on a horse that I had trained.

I graduated from Crandon High School as co-valedictorian of my class in 2012. Since then, I’ve competed at barrel races all around Wisconsin and in Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Unfortunately, I had to sell my two thoroughbreds this past summer, but I plan on getting back into barrel racing as soon as I graduate from college.

As Rodeo Queen of the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo I have enjoyed representing our rodeo at local events and parades as well as traveling to other rodeos around the state to spread the word about our rodeo in Merrill. My favorite moments so far have been carrying the American flag in the opening ceremony at the rodeo in Stanley, riding in the Fourth of July parade in Tomahawk, and being able to enjoy what rodeo is all about at the Heart of the North Rodeo in Spooner.

Outside of horses, I enjoy archery and anything in the outdoors. I am currently competing on the archery team at UWSP. I try to live each day to the fullest and always remember that no dream is too big.

Lillie Bartelt – 2014 Queen

Being the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Queen is something I have absolutely loved and taken great pride in. There is something rewarding about educating others and knowing that you have promoted a sport as great as rodeo. This past year has been full of nothing but great, positive experiences such as visiting and riding at the UP Championship Rodeo up in the tiny town of Iron River, Michigan, or educating the Merrill area’s youth at the 25th annual Love-A-Pet Day, or leading the antique tractor parade at Willow Springs Garden’s annual Independence Festival. In this past year of memories, I hope I left an impact on those I met and interacted with, but most of all I hope I motivated young girls all around to one day run for Rodeo Queen, to share the compassion for rodeo like I do, and to continue promoting this incredible sport.

Lizzie Bright – 2014 Princess

Hi! My name is Lizzie Bright, the 19 year old daughter of Joe Bright, from Merrill Wisconsin. Wow! What a year it has been representing this rodeo as the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Princess! First and foremost, I would like to thank all of the queen sponsors as well as the entire rodeo committee for making this journey not only possible, but an incredible experience! I’d also like to thank my dad and my sisters for being so helpful and supportive! As princess this year, I was able to represent the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo all over Wisconsin! I had the pleasure of helping out at the Manawa, and Stanley Rodeos just to name a few. I also enjoyed getting to represent the rodeo at the 4th of July, Labor Day, and Christmas parades! Some Community events I was had the honor to attend, were the June Dairy Breakfast, Women’s Lifestyle Expo, Midwest Horse Fair and the Willow Springs Children’s Stick Pony Rodeo. Overall, it has been such a wonderful experience to represent the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo.

Other Past Queens

2017 – Trystin LeSage, Queen and Katie Bargender, Princess

2016 – Morgan Zernicke, Queen and April Geier, Princess

2015 – Katelin Bradley, Queen and MiKaela Meyer, Princess

2014 – Lillie Bartelt, Queen and Lizzy Bright, Princess

2013 – Jessica Hargrave, Queen and Danielle Cecchini, Princess

2012 – Katrina Brickner, Queen and Jessica Hargrave, Princess

2011 and 2010 – Karissa Gipple, Queen and Katrina Brickner, Princess

2009 – Sadie Weinfauf, Queen and Karissa Gipple, Princess

2008 – Kathleen Vigali, Queen and Savanna Wick, Princess

2007 – Carrie Muller, Queen and Eileen Lenzner, Princess

2006 – Danielle Lemke, Queen and Eileen Lenzner, Princess

2005 – Chelsea Strama, Queen and Jamie Lenzner, Princess

2004 – Sara Novotny, Queen and Amy Ollhoff, Princess

2003 – Ashley Walters, Queen and Rachel Ratkovich, Princess

2002 and 2001 – Anna Bauknecht, Queen and Rachel Ratkovich, Princess

2000 – Diane Dombrowsky

1999 – Danial Schultz

1998 – Melissa Podorski

1997 – Ellen Jelinek

1996 – Tammy Nelson

1993 – Karri (Stubbe) Moodie

1992 – Katie Griffin

1990 – Amy (VanDerGeest) Butler




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