*Founded in 1985 by the late Lu Vason, The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo has traveled to many cities and is known as the world’s only touring African American rodeo. The rodeo employs men and women of all ages, not only as rodeo participants, but as animal handlers, stable hands, cooks, and a large variety of administrative tasks.
Student workers often obtain scholarships for college and it is known throughout the youth that a good rodeo performance caught on tape could land them a full ride at one of the many historically black colleges and universities. That means hard work can land them, not only fun, healthy habits, but there is a potential to set them on a positive path for success in life.
The Bill Pickett Rodeo website features not only information about their current champions, but also information on all the events and how black cowboys have affected the sport.
According to the website, “Annually, dust will fly as spectators cheer for their favorite Black Cowboys and Cowgirls competing during thrilling Calf Ropin’, exhilarating Bareback Ridin’, Bull Doggin, Ladies Barrel Racin’, Junior Barrel Racin’, Ladies Steer Undercoatin’, and gripping Bull Ridin.’”
The Bill Pickett Rodeo Series moves to Atlanta, GA on Saturday, August 4, 2018, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, August 5, 2018, at 3:30 pm at the Georgia International Horse Park. Following that, the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo will be moving on to the DC-Virginia area with it’s ‘Rodeo for Kidz Sake’ on Friday, September 21, 2018, at 10:00 AM. The Bill Pickett Championship Rodeo will continue in the DC-Virginia area on Saturday, September 22, 2018, 1:30 pm & 7:30 pm at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, MD.
The Star of this year’s rodeo was this unnamed bull. Aside from the flagrant flaunting of his personality, this bull possessed a white stripe along his nose, short horns, and glossy black fur.
One thing to remember, these animals, despite their great strength and fearsome looks, are peaceful beasts who don’t want to hurt anyone, but sometimes accidents happen.
Sometimes, like with the bull with the white stripe along his nose, the animals decide not to follow the traditional directions and show a bit of its own personality.
Here a cowboy ropes a stubborn bull. This bull decided that he’d had his fun and peacefully returned to the stable with the other bulls.
When the same cowboy tried to lasso the bull with the white stripe, the bull turned toward the cowboy and faked a charge resulting in a quick retreat and dropping of the rope.
It should be noted that every time this particular cowboy twirled his lasso, it found its way around the neck of some loose animal, but the majority of the time, especially with the smaller animals and horses, they were ‘wrangled’ or guided into the stable adjacent the arena floor without the need of ropes, whips or any type of aggressive actions.
Surely this bull has a name, known by his trainers and owners, however before the EURWeb staff could get back to ask his name, he charged and bucked a trainer seriously injuring his leg. The trainer will be ok, and paramedics were quick to respond after his wife and co-workers managed to secure the animal.
Playing with the animals, as this trainer learned, is not always advised, even though it is necessary to get the bull, and other animals, to do what is needed with the least amount of contact. The animals are well trained and know where to go.
For information about the history of the rodeo, read EURWeb’s coverage of last year’s rodeo at https://www.eurweb.com/2017/08/the-history-of-the-rodeo-featuring-black-cowboy-bill-pickett/.
For show tickets, reviews, rodeo championship information or more information, go to http://www.billpickettrodeo.com/.