Past Hamel Rodeo specialty acts: Rider Keisner


In the time leading up to the 2021 Hamel Rodeo, we are featuring past specialty acts to whet your appetite for all things RODEO.
This World Champion performed in the 2016 Hamel Rodeo and was featured in the July 2016 issue of Medina Living. Stay tuned for details on this upcoming year’s Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls show performing July 8-11. Limited tickets are available at

Rider Keisner (pronounced Kizzner) is a rope swingin’, whip crackin’, gun-slingin’ cowboy tornado and he is headed this way!  His one-man Wild West show is coming to the Hamel Rodeo in July and if you have never seen him in action I recommend you make plans not to miss it!

Keisner was born to the rodeo life, quite literally. His parents both competed in rodeos and actually met while on the circuit. Mom, Julie was a barrel racer and Dad, Phillip a cow horse trainer. They married and had two boys, Rider and Roper. Yup — that’s their real names. Rider is actually a world champion roper and Roper is a champion bronc rider. Keisner is also a fifth generation horse trainer with roots right here in Minnesota. 

When Rider Keisner was 9 years old his parents gave him a “Will Rogers Trick Roping Kit” and he has had a rope in his hand ever since. “I was homeschooled and we rodeoed a lot. That’s all we did,” said Keisner. “I headed, heeled, calf-roped, tripped steers … I’ve fought bulls, and I’ve even rode a saddle bronc once or twice.” “Pretty much everything in rodeo I’ve done at least once. I love it.”

When Keisner turned 18 he decided to break away from the family show and go out on his own. His passion for the sport of rodeo combined with his natural showmanship has quickly propelled him into one of the most sought after rodeo acts in the country. He has performed all over the world, bringing his cowboy crazy energy to the masses. He’s already a four-time world champion trick roper and two-time world champion gun-spinner. His whip cracking isn’t too shabby, either, and Rider has in fact been a reserve world champion with whips. 

What gets him up every morning to practice? “I like rodeo girls, I think they like roping,” he said with a grin. “But I don’t know. It’s something I worked at a lot. Anything that I can control —  the motion of it is amazing to me, that you can control something with your hands. I just like it.” 

The Hamel Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the State of Minnesota on the basis of both total added money and total pay off. This year the contestants will take home approximately $120,000 to show for their efforts. This is why many of the top name contestants will always be found at the Hamel Rodeo. Hamel has hosted this event every summer for the last 35 years and trick roping has been part of pro rodeo ever since Will Rogers introduced it to the masses over 100 years ago. 

Hamel Rodeo dates this year are July 7-10. Rider Keisner and his Wild West Trick Roping will be performing at all 5 shows. If you want more information on Rider Keisner you can visit his Facebook page at <> and for more information on the Hamel Rodeo go to <