• Arts & Culture Bay Area Family

    Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Rides into San Francisco Bay Area

    2011bpir 27th Logo

    SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA: To the delight of thrilled audiences and rodeo fans, some of the nation’s most skilled and entertaining Black cowboys and cowgirls will ride into the San Francisco Bay Area to compete in the nation’s only touring Black rodeo competition—the thrilling Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR).

    Celebrating its 27th year, BPIR will proudly showcase its athletes performing and competing at Hayward, California’s Rowell Ranch Rodeo Arena on Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, 2011.  At 2:30 p.m. each day, dust will fly as spectators cheer for their favorite competitors during thrilling Calf Ropin’, exhilarating Bareback Ridin’, Bull Doggin, Ladies Barrel Racin’, Junior Barrel Racin’, Ladies Steer Undercoatin’, and gripping Bull Ridin.’



    27th Annual Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo
    “The Next Generation”


    Saturday & Sunday, July 9 & 10, 2011 | 2:30 p.m. daily


    Rowell Ranch Rodeo Arena
    9275 Dublin Canyon Rd., Hayward, CA 94552


    From $16.00 to $25.00 | billpickettrodeo.com/tickets.html
    Call (510) 864-2747 for discounted group ticket pricing


    OFFICIAL BPIR newsletter/backgrounder




    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, showcasing his bronco- and bull-riding and roping skills in Wild West shows, circuses, and world’s fairs. The professional cowboy and rodeo champion was small in stature but he was a larger-than-life Western legend in his own time. His rodeo career spanned more than 40 years. In 1989, he was inducted into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), and in 1996, Bill Pickett was the first rodeo athlete inducted into the Black Cowboy Walk of Fame in Denver, Colorado.

    Retired since 1916, Pickett died in April 1932 following a roping accident. His funeral was one of the largest ever held in Oklahoma. He was buried high on a hill at White Eagle Monument, where the Cherokee Strip Cowboy Association set up a limestone marker in his memory. According to Frank Billings, Colonel Zack Miller of the 101 Ranch called him “the greatest sweat-and-dirt cowhand that ever lived.”  For more detailed information about Bill Pickett, please visit billpickettrodeo.com/about.html.


    Lu Vason founded the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo in 1984. It is an innovative, educational and exciting perspective on the history, challenges, and excitement of Black Americans in the Western United States. BPIR celebrates the life of the legendary Black cowboy Bill Pickett and other Blacks who greatly contributed to the development of the West.

    BPIR tours each year from January through November. Its competitions are held across the country, in cities like Atlanta, Bakersfield, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Oakland, Phoenix, St. Louis, and Washington D.C.

    To learn more about the Bill Pickett Invitational rodeo, its competitors and tour calendar, please visit billpickettrodeo.com.

    “Bill Pickett Memorial Scholarship Fund,” a non-profit organization – Tax ID #84-1064797

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