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|Date:||8/20/2014 12:15:30 PM
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FANCY'S PERCEPTIONS, Celebrate BlackHistory Month:
Fancy is leaving a vote & the story of a man who became famous for his contribution to a rodeo favorite known as bulldogging. Please enjoy reading our Saturday blog ♥
FANCY'S PERCEPTIONS,Black Cowboys!:
Images of black cowboys are scarce in popular culture, giving the false impression that people of color were not among the men and women who settled the West. By the end of huge cattle drives of cowboy legend, at least 5,000 black men had worked as cowboys. Historians estimate an average crew included two or three black cowboys.
William (Will, Bill) Pickett was a legendary cowboy from Taylor, Texas of black, white, and Indian descent, born December 5, 1870. In March 1932, Pickett tripped while roping a stallion and fell under the horse, which kicked him in the head. For 11 days he clung to life with a fractured skull. April 2, 1932, he died in a hospital in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Bill Pickett was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, in 1971, the first black rodeo athlete to be so honored. At the Cowboy Hall of Fame, these words are inscribed to Pickett's memory:
Like many men in the old time West
On any job he did his best
He left a blank that's hard to fill
For there will never be another Bill.
He was also honored in 1994 by The United States Post Office, who issued a postage stamp honoring Pickett as part of its "Legends of the West" series. There is also the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo held each year since 1984 in his honor.
Bill noticed the bulldogs capture stray steers by biting them on the lip and he thought why couldn't he do that. Pickett's method for bulldogging was biting a cow on the lip and then falling backwards. His method eventually lost popularity as the sport changed into steer wrestling that is practiced in rodeos today.
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. That's how Pickett's technique got the name "bulldogging." As the event became popular among rodeo cowboys, the lip biting became less popular until it disappeared from steer wrestling. Bill Pickett, however, became an immortal rodeo cowboy, and his fame has grown since his death.
Bill Pickett became known for his tricks and stunts at local country fairs. In 1905, Pickett joined the 101 Ranch Wild West Show that featured the likes of Buffalo Bill, Cowboy Bill Watts, Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Bee Ho Gray, and Zach and Lucille Mulhall.
(Info obtained from blackcowboys.com & billpicketrodeo.com)
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