Yucaipa is all about breaking records these days.
The inaugural Raise the Roof Bulls and Barrels Rodeo was held on Saturday, March 17 at the Yucaipa Equestrian Center and over 3,000 tickets were sold.
“Today’s event was completely sold out, said Mellissa DeMarco, Yucaipa Equestrian Sponsor chair. “We sold over 3,000 tickets and the fire marshal said that’s enough. We’re very blessed to have this rodeo here. I would like to thank the city, the community and everyone who helped us get the word out.”
The rodeo was a fundraiser to build a roof over the equestrian center’s main arena.
The arena cover will be named in memory of Dottie Potter, one of Yucaipa’s most beloved equestrians, who passed away in 2014.
DeMarco also shared how proud she was of the rodeo committee members Vanessa Register and Kathy Utley, who fought to make the event happen for the past five years.
Yucaipa Mayor Greg Bogh, Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Duncan and Councilman David Avila were all in attendance.
“The city of Yucaipa committed and said if we had a good turnout they would contribute to the arena cover project,” said J.R. Allgower, Yucaipa Equestrian Rodeo Committee member.
According to Allgower, once the arena has a cover, it will allow for more events and block the rain in the winter and block the sun in the summer. He also stated that the committee is interested in having the bleacher stands covered, along with the arena.
Also at the event, Bob Potter, husband of Dottie Potter, received a certificate of recognition, for his work and impact made within the Yucaipa Equestrian Center.
“Bob gave a speech about Dottie Potter, it was amazing, people were in tears. As Bob was speaking to the crowd, the sun came out,” said Utley, chair of Yucaipa Equestrian Center Rodeo. “The success of this rodeo has gone beyond any of our expectations.”
Before the rodeo began, U.S. Army Chaplin Curtis E. Hulshizer, ran a flag and honored local fallen soldier Nathan Tyler Davis.
Southern California’s singing cowboy, Skeeter Mann, kicked off the rodeo with a moving rendition of the National Anthem.
Aside from the calf riding, bull riding, and barrel racing, line dancing lessons were given, there was a beer garden and tons of vendors.
“The trick rider, Brandi Phillips, and her horse Apollo, carried in our American Flag. Thank you to Hauser Bucking Bulls for running the rodeo. They provided the stock, the bucking bulls, sheep, calves and the donkeys,” continued Register.
The rodeo committee members talked about how intense it was coordinating the full-house event.
The Yucaipa Lions Club ran the sales of the beer garden.
“Brewcaipa donated the beer, they thought it was a very worthwhile cause for Dottie Potter, they or we didn’t expect to go through that amount of beer,” continued Allgower.
The successful rodeo acquired over 80 sponsors, from both local and regional businesses.
The event was led by professional rodeo announcer Shane S. Burris.
After the rodeo, The Silverado’s, a country/rock band, took the stage and had the multi-age crowd up on its feet, bobbing heads to the beat of the authentic rocking country music, reminiscent to that of The Beatles and Tim McGraw.
“I’d like to thank the community and the businesses that sponsored, it shows how we (Yucaipa) get back to our roots and support one another. This is still a country city. If you saw what you saw at our rodeo, you’d be impressed,” concluded Allgower.
The Yucaipa Equestrian Center Arena cover is tentatively set to start construction in November 2018.