June: Let the Summer Rodeo Run Begin! August 8, 2017 by Katelin Bradley, MRW 2017June marks the beginning of summer and with summer comes exciting summer rodeos in Wisconsin. My first appearance in June was at an event for one of my sponsors the Triple R Riding Club. I got to take my OTTB Corybant on a scenic trail ride and sign autographs for club members and trail ride participants. It was a nice, relaxing start to what would be a hectic month! The first summer rodeo in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo in Merrill, was June 9th through the 11th. The night before the rodeo performances began, I was invited to speak at the rodeo queen banquet dinner at the Eagles Club in downtown Merrill. I held the Wisconsin Rider Pro Rodeo Queen title in 2015, so it was a great honor to be invited. I met all of the royalty contestants and listened to their speeches. After their speeches, it was my turn to talk. Having been in their shoes (or boots rather) just a few short years before, I realized just how far I had come because of my involvement in promoting professional rodeo. I reminded all of them to always dream big and stay true to themselves. You never know how far you will go as a rodeo queen! All three rodeo performances in Merrill were tremendous. I rode two different horses. The second horse, a Quarter Horse named Itchin To Passum, aka “Itch”, belongs to bullfighter Lucas Moore. Itch helped me chase back calves and carry sponsor flags. He proved to be a very reliable mount. It is always a good feeling to get on a steady, safe horse and be able to focus on your duties as rodeo royalty. The next weekend I travelled to Glenwood City, Wisconsin for the St. Croix Valley PRCA Rodeo and Miss Rodeo Wisconsin Pageant. It was the first year that the pageant was held in Glenwood City. There were two contestants for the Miss Rodeo Wisconsin 2018 title and two contestants for the Miss Teen Rodeo Wisconsin title. The contestants participated in a photoshoot, radio interview, and library reading, and were judged on personality, appearance, knowledge, and horsemanship. I had the pleasure of demonstrating the horsemanship pattern on Miss Rodeo Wisconsin 2014 Miriah Lehmann’s Quarter Horse TS Smooth Whiskey. Whiskey was probably the most impressive horse I had swung a leg over in a long time. Whiskey also helped me chase back calves during the performances at the St. Croix Valley PRCA Rodeo. We looked ultra-sharp in his Inspired Turquoise tack set. Before the final rodeo performance, the Miss Rodeo Wisconsin and Miss Teen Rodeo Wisconsin coronation took place. Amanda Chmielewski was crowned Miss Rodeo Wisconsin 2018 and Erica Wolf was crowned Miss Teen Rodeo Wisconsin 2017-2018. Both girls are going to do a fantastic with their titles. I am excited for them! I went to a mounted shooting competition the weekend after the pageant, then I was back on the rodeo road. Thanks to my sponsor Gold Medal Trailer Sales, I was able to take my own horse, Corybant, to the Mid-Western Rodeo in Manawa the final weekend of June. The newly crowned Miss Teen Rodeo Wisconsin Erica Wolf and I participated in all four rodeo performances and Manawa’s Fourth of July/Rodeo Parade. I was so proud to be riding Corybant at such a big event. Riding an OTTB at a professional rodeo was a great way to showcase the breed to a large audience. By the end of the weekend, he was chasing back steers with the confidence of a Quarter Horse.