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About Yucaipa Rodeo

The City of Yucaipa, in conjunction with the Yucaipa Equestrian Arena Committee (YEAC), is happy to host the
6th Annual Yucaipa Rodeo Fundraiser
April 5 & 6, 2024
Located at the Yucaipa Equestrian Center

Yucaipa Rodeo proudly presents the following events during each performance:


Who doesn’t LOVE the exciting Grand Entry and opening ceremonies of the RODEO?!!!  We listen to the National Anthem as we stand and honor the United States of America, the American Flag, and our Military.  Many people say this is their favorite part of the rodeo!  We also acknowledge some of our generous sponsors as cowgirls run their flags around the arena for us all to see! 


Photos by Doug Earnest


Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls

Since the performance team’s founding in 1976, Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls have performed in 20 countries on 5 different continents, building their reputation as world class performers. Over the years, their unique brand of entertainment has taken them from the rodeo arena dirt to professional sporting arena turf. They have even performed in England at the Windsor Castle for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant, celebrating her 60 years of service. 



Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls present an entertaining western vignette incorporating American style trick roping, fast paced trick riding that is truly breathtaking and entertaining. The team for 2024 consists of masterful equestrians from the United States and Australia, making this the only international team in professional rodeo. The girls live and train at Riata Ranch International in Three Rivers California, where they hone their skills and develop team work. 

They have cemented their reputation as an international western performance troupe, appearing at rodeos and events around the world such as the Wrangler National Finals in Las Vegas, Reno Rodeo, Pendleton Round Up, Salinas, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Dodge City and many more.

Their unique brand of entertainment has led to performances in professional sporting venues which include half time performances, the American Bowl in Barcelona Spain, Monday night football and Super Bowl appearances. The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls were part of the opening ceremonies for the 2010 and 2012 World Equestrian Games in Lexington Kentucky. They also participated in the Diamond Jubilee Celebration in “All the Queen’s Horses”, featuring 500 horses and 800 performers from 19 countries, in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne.


Welcome to the world of Mutton Busting!  Wannabe rodeo stars start small. Mutton Busting is a junior rodeo event featuring young cowboys and cowgirls ages 3 to 7 years and 55lbs weight limit.  They ride sheep…wild and wooly sheep.  Like bull riders, mutton busters are scored on a scale of 100 points. The rider attempts to stay on the animal for six seconds, at which point the judges award half the points for the style of the rider and half for the aggressive qualities of the sheep. This is a very popular event and young riders wear full on protective gear to help them stay safe and sound.

Photo by Dan Cleveland

Photo by Max Optics


Saddle Bronc Riding evolved from the task of breaking and training horses to work the cattle ranches of the old west.  It is a rough stock event where a cowboy/girl rides a rodeo bucking horse and tries to stay on for a full eight seconds.  A good bucking horse will potentially give the cowboy a spectacular ride as the horse tries to buck, jump, twist, and turn to unload the rider as quickly as possible. The cowboy/girl uses one hand to hold onto a rope which is attached to the horse’s halter.  A horn sounds when the 8 seconds are up and pick up men help the cowboy dismount from the bronc to help keep him safe.

Judges watch to make sure the cowboy “marks out” properly (the cowboy’s feet must be above the point of the horse’s shoulders when the horse’s front feet hit the ground), doesn’t touch anything with his free hand, spurs and moves effectively while keeping both feet in the stirrups, and lasts the full eight seconds.  If he/she manages to achieve the above, a score of zero to 50 is given to the rider and a score of zero to 50 is also given to the horse.  A total combined score in the 80’s is very good!  Excerpts taken from The Rodeo Guide for City Slickers by Graeme Menzies

Photo by Dan Cleveland

Photo by Doug Earnest


Each competitor climbs onto a horse, which is held in a small pipe enclosure called a bucking chute. When the rider is ready, the gate of the bucking chute is opened and the horse bursts out and begins to buck. The rider attempts to stay on the horse for eight seconds without touching the horse with their free hand. On the first jump out of the chute, the rider must "mark the horse out". This means they must have the heels of their boots in contact with the horse above the point of the shoulders before the horse's front legs hit the ground. A rider that manages to complete a ride is scored on a scale of 0–50 and the horse is also scored on a 
scale of 0–50. The ride as a whole is rated as the sum of these individual scores: scores in the 80s are considered very good, and in the 90s are considered exceptional. A horse who bucks in a spectacular and effective manner will score more points than a horse who bucks 
in a straight line with no significant changes of direction. Wikipedia

Photo by Dan Cleveland


Calf Roping or Tie Down Roping is rooted in the working ranches of the old west when it was necessary for cowboys to rope and quickly immobilize calves for veterinary treatment.  In this timed event, the calf is given a head start before the rider leaves the box, gives chase, and attempts to rope it.  As the horse stops, the rider dismounts, runs down the rope, and tackles the calf onto it’s back.  He then ties three of the calf’s four legs together, with a rope called a piggin string, which he carries in his teeth.  The clock is stopped when the roper throws his hands in the air.     

Success in this sport is all about speed:  who can complete this event the fastest wins the day.  But since time penalties can be awarded for a number of technical violations,

pure speed isn’t everything; competitors must be fast and technically flawless.

Typically, two judges officiate this event.  One judge is stationed near the chute (foul line judge) and the other is down the arena closer to where the calf will be tied down (field judge).  If the cowboy breaks the barrier, the judge will add a 10 second penalty to the time.  Any unnecessary roughness will result in disqualification, and possibly also a fine. 

Time penalties can be awarded to both the cowboy and the horse.

The teamwork between cowboy and horse is key to success – and a powerful testament to the strong bond between cowboy and horse.  Excerpts taken from The Rodeo Guide for City Slickers by Graeme Menzies

Photos by Dan Cleveland


Team Roping, the only true team competition in rodeo, is a timed event where two cowboys/girls or “ropers” try to capture and immobilize a steer in record time.  The event originated on ranches when cowboys needed to treat, or brand large steers and the task proved too difficult for one man.

The team consists of the header and the healer.  When the cowboys are ready, the header will nod his head and the steer will charge into the arena.  As the steer reaches its head start distance, the roper’s barriers are released, and the header takes off in quick pursuit.  The heeler follows, staying a fraction of a second behind.  The header must make one of three possible catches on the steer’s head area: around both horns, around one horn and the head, or around the neck.  After the header makes his catch, he dallies the rope to his saddle horn and pulls the steer to the left, exposing the steer’s hind legs to the heeler on the right.  The heeler then attempts to rope both steer’s hind legs.  The clock is stopped when the cowboys have successfully roped the steer, there is no slack in their ropes, and their horses are facing each other.    There is a five second penalty if the heeler only catches one leg and a ten second penalty if the rider breaks the barrier or leaves the box too soon, failing to give the animal enough of a head start.  Expert team ropers can complete this event in 5 seconds or less!  Fun Fact-The header’s rope will usually be a bit shorter and softer while the heeler’s rope is a bit longer and harder.  Excerpts taken from The Rodeo Guide for City Slickers by Graeme Menzies

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Photos by Dan Cleveland


Barrel racing is an exciting timed event where the horse and rider enter the arena, race around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern, then race out of the arena as fast as they can!  The horse and rider can start with either the barrel on the left or the barrel on the right.  If they start with the barrel on the right, they’ll also circle that barrel to the right and then the next two barrels are circled to the left.  (Right Left Left.)  If they start with the barrel on the left, they’ll also circle it to the left and then the next two barrels are circled to the right.  (Left Right Right.)  When all three barrels have been circled in this cloverleaf pattern, they gallop at top speed toward the arena exit across the timing light beam.  Times are so close that electronic timing devices accurate to the hundredth of a second must be used.  Fastest time wins but time may be added to the clock with penalties such as missing the pattern, running out of turn, knocking over a barrel, or falling off the horse.  Touching a barrel is usually permitted without penalty.

Barrel racers have a special saddle that’s specially designed to help keep the rider in the saddle (it has a high cantle in the front and high seat at the rear).  These saddles are a bit shorter than a typical Western Saddle but give the horse more agility and freer movement.  Horses are also typically equipped with “boots” to protect their legs from the barrels or from their own hooves.  Years of practice and training go into the successful barrel racing teams and a proven barrel racing horse can cost $50,000!  Excerpts taken from The Rodeo Guide for City Slickers by Graeme Menzies

Photo by Dan Cleveland

Photo by Doug Earnest


Breakaway roping is a variation of calf roping where a calf is roped, but not thrown and tied.  It is a rodeo event that features a calf and one mounted rider, usually female.  The calves are moved one at a time through narrow runs leading to a chute with spring-loaded doors.  The roper must throw the rope in a loop around the calf's neck.  Once the rope is around the calf's neck, the roper signals the horse to stop suddenly.  The rope is tied to the saddle horn with a string.  When the calf hits the end of the rope, the rope is pulled tight and the string breaks.  Breakaway roping is usually seen in junior, high school, college, semi-professional, and professional rodeos for female contestants. Wikipedia   Breakaway roping has experienced rapid growth and it is now featured at over 300 PRCA rodeos annually. This success has resulted in an increase of prize money at the NFBR to reach $250,


Bull riding is a rough stock event where the cowboys and cowgirls ride a bucking bull and try to stay on for a full eight seconds, while the bull tries to buck, jump, twist, turn, and spin to unload the rider.  The cowboy holds on to the bull with one hand secured to a flat braided rope, which is wrapped around the bull’s girth, while squeezing the sides of the bull with his legs.  The bull rider must keep his hand in the rope and he must not touch the ground, the bull, or himself with his other hand.  Eight seconds are up when the horn blows and pick up riders and rodeo clowns ensure the bull doesn’t get to the cowboy so he can safely leave the arena.

The rider only receives points if he lasts the full eight seconds and the point scale is zero to 50.  He doesn’t need to use his spurs, but he will get a higher score if he is actively engaged with the bull.   Judges look for an active bull that bucks, twists, spins, and turns and a bull always receives a score zero to 50, even if the rider is bucked off.  If a bull fails to perform adequately, the judges may offer the cowboy a re-ride. A total combined score in the 90’s is definitely an award-winning ride!  Excerpts taken from The Rodeo Guide for City Slickers by Graeme Menzies

Photo by Dan Cleveland

Photo by Doug Earnest


A:  Members:  CLICK HERE to view the membership application.

    Volunteers:  CLICK HERE to view the volunteer application.

     Waiver:  CLICK HERE to view the volunteer waiver.

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