The Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo will once again be held at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Merrill June 10, 11 & 12.
The new queen will be crowned on Sunday, June 12 at 12:30 p,.m. just prior to the 1 p.m. rodeo performance.
The candidates are Kaiti, daughter of Brenda and Tom Bargender, Wausau; Shaydi, daughter of Laurie Ippolito and Kevin Rochon, Wausau; Victoria, daughter of Christy Jameson, Antigo; Trystin, daughter of Russell LeSage and Joy LeSage, Wausau; and Megan, daughter of Jeff Last and Amy Last, Merrill.
The contestants will be selling tickets to the Rodeo until noon Friday, June 12. T
icket sales are one of the components of the queen contest.
The reigning rodeo royalty will preside over this year’s event. The 2016 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Queen is Morgan Zernicke, daughter of Michael Zernicke and Patty Zernicke of Wausau, and the 2016 Princess is April Geier, daughter of Virgil Hanke of Merrill.
Morgan Zernicke said she always wanted to be the queen of the rodeo since she was a little girl.
“In 2015 I decided I would run for the 2016 WI River Pro Rodeo Queen. Throughout the spring I worked hard getting my horse ready for the rodeo along with attending events and doing other things as needed,” she said. “On the Sunday of rodeo as we were in the arena when the 2016 Queens were being announced, I couldn’t believe it all my hard work paid off!”
She said she has enjoyed her year as WI River Pro Rodeo Queen.
“Meeting new people from all over is one of the greatest feelings ever and then seeing them at the next rodeo and they remember you like you’ve known each other for years, it makes you know you have impacted them in some way,” she said. “It has been an experience of a lifetime, being an important part to the rodeo industry. This past year has been very rewarding knowing that I have been able to promote the amazing sport of rodeo.”
She has made many public appearances in places such as the Stanley, Manawa, Spooner, Brown County Fair Rodeo, UP Championship Rodeo in Iron River Michigan, and the Mid West Horse Fair Rodeo. She also made appearances at several different events.
“I enjoyed my time going to different events as Rodeo Queen and if people had questions I was able to educate them about rodeo” Zernicke said. “My favorite moments of the year have been traveling around the state and getting to know even more about rodeo!
“As the 2016 WI River Pro Rodeo Queen I want to end my year impacting people especially younger girls who want to run for rodeo royalty at some point in their life. I want to take time to thank everyone who has helped me throughout the year from doing my hair, traveling to rodeos, borrowing a horse, and getting my horse ready at the rodeos! I also want to thank our Queen sponsors B’in Crafty, Bach Farm, Red Rock Granite, and Quirt Family Dentistry of Merrill. Thank you to all the rodeo committee members for all your support throughout the year.”
April Geier, 20, attend the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County.
“I have been riding horses for several years and currently have a horse named Major who means the world to me,” she said. “Growing up I have always had such a passion towards every animal I met and grew a respect for them and how to care for them. I am very blessed to have been given this opportunity to travel to local rodeo’s and show my support for the sport and respect to the animals.”