Each year in July, the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo — the nation’s only touring rodeo for black cowboys — comes to the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Arena in Hayward. The rodeo is named for famed cowboy Pickett, of Native American and Black stock, who at the turn of the 20th century invented bulldogging. He routinely wrestled 800-pound steers to the ground during a nearly 50-year career that ended with his death in 1932.
PBS’s popular “History Detectives” show recently investigated the request of a Staten Island, N.Y., woman, who said she purchased a saddle purportedly used by Pickett during rodeos. The story pursued by detective host Tukufu Zuberi is an intriguing one for any rodeo fan, and can be followed by going to the PBS Web site and going to the “History Detectives” link.