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Meet Our Royalty

Meet the girls who work all year long to raise money for our championship show. If you see one of these lovely ladies at a show, please ask them how you can support our wonderful organization!


2021 Queen Tressa Merrill

My name is Tressa Merrill, and I am your 2021 Interstate Queen.  I am the 18 year old daughter of Justin and Kristi Merrill, older sister to Treysen and we reside in Lynden, WA.  I am currently a senior at Lynden Christian High School where I am involved in FFA and am on the Washington High School Equestrian Team.  My plan after graduating is to pursue a career as a Dental Hygienist.  I am blessed to have grown up in a horse loving family.  My Great Grandpa Tjoelker competed with the Nooksack Valley Riders and passed his love of horses onto my Grandparents on down to my parents and now to me.   Outside of school, I am an active member of the Nooksack Valley Riders and Patterned Speed Horse Association alongside my freckled best friend, Ruby Sue.  She has been my trusty companion throughout all of WAHSET and has proven herself to be a rockstar as an all-around horse.  Ruby Sue is a very special horse to our family.  My Grandpa Marlan Merrill raised her, my mom trained her, my Grandpa Marv Tjoelker seasoned her, and I have taken over the fun part of finishing and competing on her.  She has been a labor of love for sure!  Interstate has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I have been attending Interstate since I was born and competed at my first one at the age of 9 on the great horse, Tru.  It is hard to believe that I am working on qualifying for my 10th year already.  Ruby Sue is the 7th horse I have been fortunate enough to have qualified to ride at Interstate.  I am thankful for friends who have given me the opportunity to ride their great horses over the years, each one has taught me so much.  I have been blessed to win a Figure 8 buckle and also Team Flags and Team Baton buckles (thanks to the team made up of my grandparents and dad)!  It is an indescribable feeling to win one of those prestigious buckles! PSHA and WHO have become a family and are always supporting me.  From cheering me on to making sure that I always had the next horse to move up to, I wouldn’t be who I am today without the love and support they have shown.  I feel that it is my turn to give back to my friends and family in the horse world.  I want to help promote Interstate as this show has given me such a passion to compete with my horses. I am beyond excited to represent PSHA, WHO, and Interstate and look forward to meeting each and every one of you.  Wishing you a season of fun, memories, and fast runs! 


Princess Makinley Nielsen

Hello, my name is Makinley Nielsen, I am one of your Oregon Princesses running for the honorable title of the 2022 Interstate Queen.

I am the 16 year old daughter of Matt and Tanya Nielsen, the granddaughter of Pam and Ralph Fletcher, and Kurt and Shelly Nielsen.

My passion for W.H.O. and Interstate comes from my family, I am a third generation member and competitor. My grandparents Pam and Ralph Fletcher, were the first generation to become members of W.H.O. in the 1970’s. The second generation is my parents Matt and Tanya Nielsen. My sister, Madison Nielsen, and I make up the third generation.

I qualified for my first Interstate in 2012, when I was 7 years old. I competed in Rescue Race on our old pony Red, and it lit a fire inside of me ever since! I have been lucky enough to qualify for every Interstate since 2012.

I am also involved in other wonderful clubs. I keep active in 4H and FFA, where I am on an Equine Evaluation Team as well as showing market goats.

I am passionate about sports, in school I play Softball and Volleyball. I have been playing since I was a little girl, and I absolutely love the games!

Participating in all of these activities has given me passion, determination and strength. When I put my mind to something, there is nothing stopping me!

I am so excited to be representing Oregon, W.H.O. and Interstate as a 2022 Interstate Princess. My main goal is to give back to the people and organization that has given both me and my family so much!

Good luck to all W.H.O. and P.S.H.A. riders this year as you work hard to qualify for a one of a kind event we all call Interstate!!! Ride hard and stay safe!!


Princess Lena McKee

I am incredibly happy to announce that I will be running for 2021-2022 PSHA Queen! I am so excited to start on my journey as Washington’s princess. Thank you to those who have already shown their support for me and to Dawn Rene'e Reimann Shaffer for being my chaperon.

For those of you who are not familiar, each year PSHA has a princess that runs for Queen , at the end of the season Interstate Games competition between Washington and Oregon. The princess’s role is to promote the event, bring awareness to the organization, and raise money to fund the show and awards.

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