January: Coronation & Adventure in the Centennial State February 1, 2017 by Katelin Bradley, MRW 2017January 1st marked the beginning of my reign as Miss Rodeo Wisconsin 2017. I had spent the last several months collecting sponsorships and planning my coronation. My first appearance as Miss Rodeo Wisconsin was a radio interview with Gary Hartl on the Antigo Breakfast Club – Country 106.1 FM to promote my coronation. The coronation at NorthStar Lanes in Antigo of January 6th turned out to be a huge success! Miss Rodeo Wisconsin 2016, Beth Kujala, attended to pass down the crown. Visiting royalty, Miss Teen Platteville Dannielle Stewart and Miss Teen Rodeo Wisconsin Olivia Bright also attended. We raffled off a gun, collectible Packers footballs, donations from around the community, and more! We were able to raise enough money to cover my expenses for the first part of the year. I am so grateful for everyone who attended and helped organize the event! I flew out of Milwaukee for my first trip as Miss Rodeo Wisconsin, but detoured to Madison first to visit one of my biggest sponsors – UW Veterinary Care. Meenu Verma and Ashley Voss gave me a tour of veterinary hospital. UW Veterinary Care is the leader in animal health in Wisconsin and it was very interesting to get a behind the scenes look at the facility. They can treat everything from dogs and cats, to horses and cows, to birds and exotics! I’m looking forward to meeting with them again at the Midwest Horse Fair. On January 13th I flew to Denver, Colorado for the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo. I got to help with the Mutton Busting, Justin Boot Giveaway, and sponsorship flags at 9 of their 20 PRCA rodeo performances. Running sponsorship flags at this rodeo on the Cervi Championship Rodeo stock horses was an amazing experience. We met several champion cowboys and acclaimed performers including Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship. I also really enjoyed helping out with the Exceptional Rodeo – an event where inner-city kids and children with disabilities get to learn about rodeo events and experience them first-hand. The boy I was paired with in Denver really loved roping. It was awesome to see his eyes light up when I helped him make his loop and catch the roping dummy. While in Denver, I also went to the Western and English Sales Association (WESA) trade show. There, I got to meet representatives from western tack and apparel companies including Greeley Hat Works, Dan Post Boots, and Horse Hoofies. I’m really looking forward to working with those companies this year. It was also great to get to know the other state queens, especially my roommate Miss Rodeo Alaska Michailia Massong. We went to Dinosaur Ridge together and saw 68 million year old fossilized dinosaur tracks! My last night in Denver was probably the most memorable. It was Military Appreciation Night at the National Western Stock Show. The state queens and I got to meet and thank active military members and veterans including one of the heroes who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. It was an incredible experience that I will not soon forget!