The Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo is not just one of the summer’s biggest events in Merrill each year, it has been selected as the Best Rodeo for the third time since 2009. The awards were recently announced by the members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
The award not only gives the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo great bragging rights; it also gives them added committee purse awards of $10,001 to $34,999 in the Great Lakes Circuit. The Merrill rodeo volunteers competed for the top honors against 25 other rodeo association in a nine-state area.
“This is a great honor for our small volunteer organization,” said Bryan Bloch, president of the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo. “We work hard year round to make the Merrill rodeo experience one the best in the Midwest not only for the rodeo professionals but for the thousands of tourist and Merrill residents and businesses that help to make the event a reality. Winning top honor three times since 2009 from the professionals that attend the event makes it all worth the time and efforts that our volunteers put into every show.”
The professional associations base their voting on a number of categories that include rodeo hospitality tents. For the Merrill organization, that includes a huge meal plan, free haircuts and chiropractor and massage therapy as well as veterinarian services for the animals along with free horse feed and wood shavings and other perks. They also provide extra prizes for the winners such as saddles, belt buckles, jackets or vests. The grounds also play a large part in the voting categories and includes the arena size, the right ground coverings and how the associations were treated by the committee volunteers and the community while they are at a rodeo location.
“The cowboys and association members continually advise us that Merrill is one of their favorite locations due to how well they are received by the community and our volunteers,” concluded Bloch. “We are very proud of our efforts, the fact they we have been able to make the event grow each year and that we were able to install a permanent arena at the Merrill Festival Grounds this year. All these efforts make it possible for us to bring in the best professionals on the rodeo circuit every year.”
Wisconsin rodeos did especially well this year in all three categories. De Pere rodeo won the Small Rodeo with nine rodeo’s competing; Merrill rodeo won the Medium Rodeo with 25 rodeos competing; and Spooner won the Large Rodeo with six rodeos competing. There are a total of 12 rodeo circuits in the United States.
To learn more, visit the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo at www.wrpr.rodeo, Great Lakes Circuit at www.glcprorodeo.com, PRCA at www.prorodeo.com, and Women’s Pro Rodeo Association at www.wpra.com.
The 2017 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo is scheduled for June 9-11, 2017 in Merrill at the Merrill Festival Grounds.