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Bill Pickett

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Start/Birth date: 1870
Death/End date: 1931

William (Bill) Pickett, the legendary Texas cowboy of black and Indian descent was born in 1870. From 1905 to 1931 Bill performed with the Miller Bros 101 Ranch Wild West Show introducing bulldogging (steer wrestling) to an awe-struck audience. 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. Cow dogs 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 in 1931.

 

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