Past Rodeo Queens


Hi, I am Katelyn Koeppel and I live in Birnamwood, WI. As the only child of Jamie and Lori Koeppel, I grew extremely close to my three younger cousins. I helped to instill my passion and love for all things equine into one of my younger cousins whom I continue to groom into a fine addition to our industry. I attended the University of Wisconsin River Falls for 2 years as well at the University of Wyoming for Animal Science and Farm and Ranch Management.

I currently own my own horse training business and I am working on completing my Equine Electro-Massage certification. This would help me expand my business into colt training and electro-massage. In the meantime, I spend my time coaching youth rugby within the Wausau School District, working at Langlade Springs as an administrative assistant for Northern Chill and as an administrative assistant at my mother’s consulting company Koeppel Healthcare Solutions.

My dedication to the equine industry is all thanks to my great Grandfather who encouraged me to start riding at a young age. Thanks to him and my trainer, Tammy Kowalski, I have had the passion and drive throughout my life to advance my knowledge about equines. I am so grateful to all the positive influences in my life who have encouraged me to become the best version of myself and the leader I am today. I look forward to running for the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Queen and all of the opportunities that will further my career within the equine industry.


Hi! My name is Emma Moodie.  I am eighteen years old and currently a senior at Moodie Home School.  After I graduate, I plan on taking a year off from school to shadow a variety of jobs, with my main focus being on children.

I have always loved being a huge part of the rodeo, ever since I can remember.   I have grown up with horses and they have been a huge part of my life.  I was riding before I could even walk.  I enjoy trail riding and am currently a member of the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association.  Outside of the horse world, I am working as a full-time nanny for a number of different families.  In my free time, I enjoy running, kayaking, four wheeling, snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, hunting and just about anything else outside.

Being the next Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Queen would fulfill my lifelong dream of being that young lady I used to look up to. I look forward to inspiring others to never give up on their dreams and to pursue their passions.


Hello! My name is Alexis Uttecht but I go by Lexi most of the time. I am the 2020 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Queen! I am currently a Junior at Wausau East High School and I’m a CNA hoping to move on with my career in the medical field. I want to become a CRNA. I began riding in Kindergarten. It started with lessons once a week and I loved it ever since. Some things I participate in are the Merril Riders Club, 4H showing at the Wisconsin Valley Fair, and WIHA ( Wisconsin Interscholastic Horsemanship Association ). Some clubs I participate in outside of horses are 4H and FFA. In my free time I enjoy riding my horses of course, kayaking, drawing, learning, and spending time with my family.

This year as the WRPR Queen has been amazing and I have had so much fun! I wouldn’t be able to do it without my wonderful mom, Jennifer Urbanski, the rest of my family, the Brights, Mikula’s, Grenwalts, Blank’s, and my hero in Heaven Tari Ann Blank. Thank you to everyone who has helped me. I couldn’t be more thankful!


Hi! My name is Chasity Newmann, and I am proud to be the 2020 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Princess! I am a 2015 graduate of Stratford High School, a current full time employee at Marathon Cheese in Marathon, and a part time worker at Rogalla Riding Center also in Marathon. Outside of work, I enjoy riding my own horses, and competing in barrel races all over the state! This year I also reached one of my goals and got my Women’s Professional Rodeo Association permit, so I can compete in many professional rodeos in and out of state! I am also a current member of the National Barrel Horse Association and Merrill Riders Club; and a past member to MANY different associations and clubs. Horses and the sport of rodeo has, and will always will, have an enormous part of my life, and hold some of my most treasured memories. Outside of horses and rodeo I also enjoy many different types of hunting, and being with friends and family! I’m so honored to be able to represent WRPR as this years Princess, and hope to continue even after I pass on the crown!


Hi! My name is Madison Schulz and I am the 2019 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Queen! I am currently a freshman at UW Marathon County with hopes of a future career in early childhood education.
Horses and the sport of rodeo have been a huge 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.
Currently, I am a member of the Merrill Riders Club, the Badger Horse Show Association, the Lincoln County 4H Horse project, and the National Barrel Horse Association.
Outside of my horses, I’m also involved in the Merrill Busy Bees 4H Club and I work at Gold Medal Trailer Sales. In my free time, I enjoy riding my horses, fishing, kayaking, and spending time with my friends and family.
Representing the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo as Princess last year and Queen this year, has been a very memorable and rewarding experience. I’m excited to continue to share my love for the sport of rodeo again this year!

Allison Tillman, 2019 WRPR PRINCESS

My name is Allison Tillman, I’m 17 years old and the current 2019 WI River Pro Rodeo Princess. I have been riding horses ever since I was 4 years old. I currently own one horse named Trixi, a buckskin paint, who I bought in January of 2013. Even before I bought my own horse, I leased out many ponies so I could compete at the Wisconsin Valley Fair. 4-H has had a big impact on my life the past 8 years of enrollment. I have shown a variety of disciplines but I prefer the intensity of barrel racing. I have been very successful with local horse shows, such as Merrill gymkhanas and the fair. Competing has built up my work ethic and confidence.
Besides my horse life…
I currently am a senior at Wausau West High School. At West I am involved with FFA, competing against other FFA chapters. I also am apart of the National Honor Society.  While horses have been my passion, I also place a very high value on my education. I committed to UW-River Falls next fall where I plan to learn and study animal health and horse management.


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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