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By Shiloh Ireland

November 15, 2023 (Lakeside) --  The Bulls Only Rodeo in Lakeside on Oct. 13-14 featured the most exhilarating and crowd engaging sport challenging the performers to the perfect eight second ride. The Bulls Only is presented by the Lakeside  Optimist Club; proceeds are used to provide for the needs of youths in Lakeside.

This was the 24th Annual Bulls Only Rodeo There are many rodeo events, but the Sports Writers of America voted bull riding as the most dangerous sporting event in the country.

ECM attended the October 14th performance. The excitement was felt in the air upon arrival with families and a large crowd anticipating an explosive performance of bull riding, junior bull riding and the always-favorite mutton busting by youngsters. There were many vendors and a wide variety of snacks and beverages to keep the guests fueled. The jumbo screen held up by a crane was a spectacular addition to the performances as instant replays were seen up close and in seconds following a performer’s ride.

The rodeo clowns kept the crowds engaged with humor; the stands rumbled with the audience singing and stomping the floors of the stands. Children were seen looking in awe at the action in the arena. In the center was a platform, where the opening began with a young woman who sang the opening tradition: American and patriotic song. At times, flames shot up in the center stands, along with explosive sound effects which further engaged the crowds.

The performers came from numerous towns in California as well as other states, traveling travel the rodeo circuit. In the arena, two wranglers used their skills to maneuver the animals back to their pens and keep the bull rider safe. Several clowns had the challenge of distracting a bull that can weigh up to one ton. Gate handlers with their supportive role to assist  riders were ever ready.

ECM was the first media to interview the 2023 Bulls Only Queens after their crowning in March of 2023. Kate Richardson, Miss Bulls Only and Talia Klotzkin Miss Junior Bulls Only, rode splendidly with flags at the opening along with the Lakeside Rodeo Queens, Kaety Kotterman, Miss Lakeside Rodeo and Miss Lakeside Junior Rodeo, Jordan Smith and other local or former rodeo queens. The children enjoyed receiving autographs from the queens and one could see how excited the youth were.

ECM wishes to thank Brent Woosley of the Optimist Club of Lakeside for the media privilege of filming the rodeo as well as appreciation to all the volunteers who produced this wonderful rodeo. We hope to see you next year at Bulls Only Rodeo 2024.





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