The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo celebrates and honor Black Cowboys and Cowgirls and their contributions to building the west. We highlight the irrefutable global appeal of Black Cowboys and Cowgirls in the West and the stories behind a sub-culture that is still strong today.
Known as the “Dusky Demon,” Bill Pickett (1870-1932) was the best-known African American rodeo performer of all time. He invented the rodeo sport of bulldogging, now known as steer wrestling, and entertained millions of people around the world with his riding and roping skills.
Pickett was descended from American Indians and black slaves in the Southwest. He grew up in West Texas, learning to ride and rope as a boy, and became a ranch hand; he performed simple trick rides in town on weekends. In 1900 he became a showman, sponsored by Lee Moore, a Texas rodeo entrepreneur.
The Dusky Demon
Miller Brothers 101 Ranch, OK
Williamson County, TX
Rodeo legend Bill Pickett had a saying. “What’s gonna happen, gonna happen,” he’d mutter to himself before going face-to-face with a charging bull. Then, with thousands of people watching, he’d do something the crowd never expected to see.
Located near modern-day Ponca City, it was founded by Colonel George Washington Miller , a veteran of the Confederate Army, in 1893. The 101 Ranch was the birthplace of the 101 Ranch Wild West Show and one of the early focal points of the oil rush in northeastern Oklahoma. Miller Brothers 101 Ranch .
|Designated NHLD||May 15, 1975|
Steer wrestling , also called bulldogging , rodeo event in which a mounted cowboy (or bulldogger ) races alongside and then tackles a full-grown steer. The event starts with the bulldogger and his hazer (a second rider who keeps the steer running straight) on either side of the steer’s chute.