William “Bill” Pickett, The Legendary Cowboy Who Invented Steer Wrestling.

4 Posted by - November 14, 2018 - Black First, BLACK MEN, DID YOU KNOW, LATEST POSTS

William (Will, Bill) Pickett was a legendary cowboy from Taylor, Texas of black and Indian descent. He was born December 5, 1870, at the Jenks-Branch community on the Travis County line. He died April 2, 1932, near Ponca City, Oklahoma.

From 1905 to 1931, the Miller brothers’ 101 Ranch Wild West Show was one of the great shows in the tradition begun by William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody in 1883. The 101 Ranch Show introduced bulldogging (steer wrestling), an exciting rodeo event invented by Bill Pickett, one of the show’s stars.

Riding his horse, Spradley, Pickett came alongside a Longhorn steer, dropped to the steer’s head, twisted its head toward the sky, and bit its upper lip to get full control. Cowdogs of the Bulldog breed were known to bite the lips of cattle to subdue them. That’s how Pickett’s technique got the name “bulldogging.” As the event became more popular among rodeo cowboys, the lip biting became increasingly less popular until it disappeared from steer wrestling altogether. Bill Pickett, however, became an immortal rodeo cowboy, and his fame has grown since his death.

He died in 1932 as a result of injuries received from working horses at the 101 Ranch. His grave is on what is left of the 101 Ranch property near Ponca City, Oklahoma. Pickett was inducted into the National Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1972 for his contribution to the sport.

Source: BlackCowboys — http://www.blackcowboys.com/billpickett.htm

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