Black Cowboy 3 … Bill Pickett

10 Feb

Wylie Gustafson …. Cattle Call

Bill Pickett

First African-American cowboy movie star.

Bill Pickett book

Bill Pickett 2

Bill Pickett plaque

Erected in 1991 by the Texas Historical Commission & the Woodson-Dickey History Club. 

Bill Pickett 4 Bill Pickett 5

Bill Pickett bulldogger

Originator of bulldogging/steer wrestling (1903)

Bill Pickett Rodeo 2Bill Pickett Rodeo

First African-American to be inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame of the Rodeo Historical Society (a support group of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum) in 1971.

Bill Pickett 7

longhorn bar

6 Responses to “Black Cowboy 3 … Bill Pickett”

  1. Cindy Bruchman February 10, 2015 at 6:10 am #

    Never knew. Thanks for sharing! What a great post.


    • jcalberta February 10, 2015 at 11:50 am #

      Thanks Cindy! Thanks to Bill too.
      Remarkably, it’s said that Bill was a small man – and probably weighed only about 145 lbs. Most modern day rodeo Bulldoggers are well over 200 lbs (but we likely have bigger cows too!?) His invention of ‘bulldogging’ was purely practical though – as it was not always possible to rope a cow/steer. And it evolved into a rodeo competition (which is now a event challenged by ‘animal Rights’ activists).
      A different era.


      • Cindy Bruchman February 10, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

        Hard to imagine a petite man having that kind of control over a beast.


  2. jcalberta February 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm #

    Bill’s technique involved biting the steer on the lip as he twisted it’s head (that would work on me) – a method that has since been discarded in modern rodeo.


  3. Marilyn Armstrong February 11, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

    Nice that he got some recognition. Not surprised he died from injuries in a riding accident. Considering what he did all his life …


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