The 2017 Iron Horse Rodeo was a stellar event for contestants, patrons, sponsors and vendors, according to Stephen Flannery III, Pacific Partnership president.

This was the fifth rodeo held in the Liberty Field equestrian center, with the rodeo competition organized by Outlaw Rodeo Productions.

The city contracts with the Pacific Partnership to organize the gate attendance, sponsorship and vendor portions of the rodeo.

Flannery’s report on the success of the 2017 rodeo won accolades from city officials and an informal request to follow the same procedures next year.

Flannery said the Sept. 29-30 event took in $23,800 in gate receipts and $7,200 in sponsorships for a total of $31,050.

After expenses of $8,083, the city netted $22,966 for the two-day event, which was an increase of $2,961 over the 2016 rodeo.

Monetary rewards are only part of the success of the popular activity, Flannery said.

“The patrons, rodeo contestants, patrons and volunteers all had a good time,” he said. “Business sponsors got their names in front of huge happy crowds.”

While attendance on Friday was good, Saturday topped everyone’s expectations.

“On Saturday, people were standing three deep all around the bleachers and people were still milling around in the vendor area,” Flannery said. “We need more bleachers next year.”

Six sets of bleachers were in place this year, with two sets each provided by Klance Staging, the Meramec Valley R-III School District and the Pacific Partnership.

Attendance for both days was approximately 4,000.

“We can’t know the exact number because kids under 5 are free and we have no way to count them,” Flannery said.