Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Wins National Award!

Merrill, WI October 5th, 2017

 The Lincoln County Rodeo Association, Inc. (Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo) would like to announce that they have been awarded the prestigious honor of being selected as the Small Committee of the Year (added money of $5,000 or less) by the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) for 2017. 


Winning for the second time in the Small Rodeo Committee of the Year is the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo (Merrill). They last won the award in 2011. There are 572 rodeos’ in 3 categories, small, medium, and large based on the added purse money provided by the rodeo that compete for these awards.  Since our category is the largest, it makes it tougher to win awards.  According to the WPRA, there are 467 Small Rodeos, 48 Medium Rodeos, and 57 Large Rodeos. What makes us stand out from the other rodeos?  According to Margo Ransom, Circuit Director for the Great Lakes Circuit, it’s our friendliness, our hospitality, and the way we maintain our grounds, from the arena to the parking area.  Contestants feel comfortable in Merrill because of the way we treat them. Knowing that our contestants spend a lot of time on the road, we want our contestants to feel at home and try to provided them with anything they need from home-cooked meals to feed and bedding for their animals.


Association President, Bryan Bloch had this to say about the award; We are honored to accept this award at the WPRA Star Banquet this December out in Las Vegas.  It is a tribute to the work our all-volunteer committee, volunteers, and the community put into making this rodeo happen.  We would also like to thank our sponsors, fans, and contestants for making this all possible.


The Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo is a professional rodeo sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). We are entering our 29th year of bringing quality, family entertainment to central and northern Wisconsin.  Join us June 8th, 9th, and 10th, 2018 at the Merrill Festival Grounds for another great weekend of family entertainment.

 For more information on our rodeo, go to our website www.wrpr.rodeo, follow us on Facebook, or call the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce 715.536.9474. You can also contact Bryan Bloch, 715.581.7756 BryanB@wrpr.rodeo, or Pete Annis 715.218.0679 PeteA@wrpr.rodeo

2017 Winners at the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo

Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo

Merrill, Wis., June 9-11

All-around cowboy: Kyle Whitaker, $1,218, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and steer wrestling.

Bareback riding: 1. Mike Fred, 78 points on Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s No. 1-36, $1,023; 2. (tie) Tanner Phipps and Tyler Waltz, 77, $639 each; 4. (tie) Jordan Pelton and Blake Smith, 75, $128 each.

Steer wrestling: 1. Kyle Whitaker, 4.3 seconds, $1,036; 2. Jon Ragatz, 4.5, $857; 3. Jacob Burks, 4.7, $679; 4. Justin Zwiefel, 4.8, $500; 5. (tie) Noel Strahan and Ty Standley, 5.0, $250 each.

Team roping: 1. Logan Olson/Matt Kasner, 5.9 seconds, $1,738 each; 2. Ryan Von Ahn/Derrick Peterson, 6.0, $1,438; 3. J.B. Lord/Levi Lord, 7.0, $1,139; 4. Dilan Rucker/Marc Fenton, 7.3, $839; 5. Lee Van Der Geest/Jeff Butler, 11.7, $539; 6. Brant Spurgin/Gabe Gwaltney, 11.9, $300.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Logan Allen, on Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s Phillip Scott, and Weston Pierschbacher, on Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s Frankie Joe, 79 points, $1,450 each; 3. Jade Blackwell, 78, $900; 4. Cody Rud, 77, $600; 5. Tate Thybo, 76, $350; 6. Dawson Jandreau, 75, $250.

Tie-down roping: 1. Blake Ash, 11.3 seconds, $1,056; 2. Cole Fulton, 11.4, $874; 3. Justin Zwiefel, 12.0, $692; 4. Ryan Richert, 14.4, $510; 5. Chance Locken, 14.8, $328; 6. Kyle Whitaker, 15.0, $182.

Barrel racing: 1. Ashley Baur, 17.74 seconds, $1,319; 2. Alexis Baratka, 17.75, $1,130; 3. Dusta Kimzey, 17.79, $942; 4. Kara Posch, 17.91, $816; 5. Julie Erkamaa, 17.94, $628; 6. (tie) Stacy Barney and Tamie Jo Martin, 17.95, $440 each; 8. Lindsay Leverington, 18.00, $251; 9. Kristine Knauf, 18.07, $188; 10. Kris Loomis, 18.10, $126.

Bull riding: 1. Freeman Yoder, 78 points on Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s No. 28, $1,762; 2. Jake Weber, 76, $1,335; 3. Will Crain, 75, $961; 4. Levi Berends, 72, $641; 5. Gumby Wren, 71, $374; 6. Andy Coughlin, 69, $267.

Total payoff: $41,930. Stock contractor: Barnes PRCA Rodeo. Sub-contractors: JC Kitaif ProRodeos and Dakota Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Martha Martin. Officials: Fritz Brewer and Gregory Caron. Timers: Martha Martin and Bonnie Cusimano. Announcer: Kelly Kenney. Bullfighters: Lucas Moore and Justin Wolfe. Flankmen: Talli Berger and Marty Barnes. Chute boss: Marty Barnes. Pickup men: Will O’Connell and Jeff Rector. Photographers: Dick Squire and Marty Welter. Music director: Mark Evans.

Mark your Calendars now for the 2019 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo.  June 7, 8, 9, 2019.  This will be our 30th year in Professional Rodeo! 


Watch for changes to our arena footing.  We have the results from soil testing by Safe Arena Footing and will be implementing the recommended changes in the off season.  Thanks to all of our contestants for their patience while we continue to upgrade the arena in our attempt to make it the best footing in any rodeo arena!


News from our Stock Contractor, Barnes PRCA Rodeo

Cowboys climb PRCA World Standings ladder on Barnes’ livestock


 Here’s a couple pictures from our cookout at Trig’s in Wausau, 05/06/17.

Here’s a few pictures from our cookout at Trig’s in Rhinelander 05/27/17

All of the monies raised stay local.  Our Tough Enough to Wear Pink monies go to Marshfield Clinic for Cancer awareness, education, screening, and research.  Our Never Forgotten Honor Flight monies go to sending veterans from North Central Wisconsin on the Honor Flight to our nations capital.

TICKETS for the 2018 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo will go on sale online on or about November 1st, 2018. 

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.

Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo voted the #1 Medium Sized Rodeo in the PRCA Great Lakes Circuit for 2016.

Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo

Pictured left to right, Gail Bloch-Secretary-Lincoln County Rodeo Association, Inc., Bryan Bloch-President-Lincoln County Rodeo Association, Inc., Marty Barnes-Barnes PRCA Rodeo-our stock contractor.  Read More

The RESULTS are in! Congratulations to all our competitors, check out 2017 Results >

The 2017 PRIZE SADDLES are in! Check out our Contestants Page to check ’em out!




The new Timing Booth/Concession Stand at the Merrill Festival Grounds.

Pictured above, from left to right,

Mark Zulliger (Merrill Federal Savings and Loan Association), Jeff Meyer (Meyer Buildings), Dennis Krueger (Lincoln Wood Products), Bryan Bloch-President of the Lincoln County Rodeo Association, Inc. (LCRA).  Donations from these businesses in cooperation with the Lincoln County Rodeo Association, Inc. made this building possible.  We would like to thank these businesses for everything they do for our community!



WRPR Gives Back to the Community!


Jim Campbell (right) and Mike Thompson (left) from the Never Forgotten Honor Flight accepting a check for $2665.00 from Bryan Bloch (center right) President of the Lincoln County Rodeo Association, Inc. who sponsor the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo, and Jim Brickner (center left), President of Brickner Park City.

The Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo and their Ram Rodeo partner, Brickner Park City and the Brickner Family have always held the Armed Services in high regards for all of the sacrifices they have made to keep this country free and strong. So when the decision was made to honor the armed services with the Friday night rodeo performance “Military Appreciation Night”, it was a simple decision to honor our veterans by donating to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Bryan Bloch said “We hope this is just the beginning of a tradition at the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo, and would like to see it continue in the future”. “It was an honor to be able to sponsor the Military Appreciation Night at the Rodeo and send 5 Lincoln County Veterans to Washington D.C. to see their Memorials” said Jim Brickner. “We all agree that next year is a go so put us on your calendar June 9th, 2017”.  2016 was our 3rd year of donating to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.

Donations to local Groups and Causes

Pictured in the following gallery are check presentations to some of the groups who help us put on the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo.  Without their hard work, along with the work of our committee, the rodeo wouldn’t be possible.







Faith Life Youth Group $650.00

BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) $250.00

Wisconsin Trail Blazers Sled Dogs $300.00

Mounted Search and Rescue $650.00

Corning All Stars 4H $650.00

Merrill Baseball Boosters $700.00

Pine River Fire Department $400.00

Merrill Amateur Radio Group $500.00

Merrill Eagles Club (not pictured) $1366.33

Tough Enough to Wear Pink (not pictured) $2000.00

We also donate to other groups and civic organizations by donating our time and efforts to their causes.  We are a 100% not for profit organization, and all volunteer.


The Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo has been awarded the distinction of being the “BEST MEDIUM SIZE RODEO” in the Great Lakes Circuit of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association (PRCA) for 2009, 2011, and 2016.


If you’re interested in becoming a vendor at the 2017 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo, email April Krueger, phone 715.297.7005 or Kelly Rosenau, 715.297.1724.

Links to vendor documents:
Vendor Letter • 2017 InsuranceFood Vendor Contract
Food Concession Diagram  Trailer or Tent Diagram Sales Vendor ContractDispute Form


If you are interested in becoming a contestant for Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Queen, email Lillie Bartelt or call her at 715.551.1121.


Document Downloads
Contestant Agreement •  Contestant Application
Contestant Duties  •  Contestant Rules