Vegas To Host “Rodeo For Kidz Sake”

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: November 4, 2008

Tina Howard - Barrel Racer

Tina Howard - Barrel Racer

LAS VEGAS — The Bill Pickett Invitational Finals Rodeo, celebrating 25 years of rodeo entertainment across the United States, rides into Las Vegas at the South Point Equestrian & Event Center for a second consecutive year.

The finals will consist of two regular performances taking place on Saturday, November 22nd at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 pm. A special “Rodeo for Kidz Sake” takes place on Friday, November 21st from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for kindergarten, elementary and middle school kids from various schools, churches, summer camps and other kid organizations.

This special rodeo was developed to educate young people on the significant historical roles that African Americans played in the Wild West, while entertaining them.

The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo tours from January through November each year across the country including cities of Memphis, Atlanta, Houston, Albuquerque, Oakland, Los Angeles, Denver, Bakersfield, Washington D.C., St. Louis and Milwaukee.

This historical, fun-filled event for a weekend of excitement features African-American cowboys and cowgirls as they compete in seven different rodeo events to be crowned the 2008 champions.

Featured events include Calf Ropin’, Bareback Ridin’, Ladies Barrel Racin’, Jr. Barrel Racin’, Bull Doggin, Ladies Steer Undercoatin’ and Bull Ridin’.

Founded in 1984 by Lu Vason, the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo is a powerful tool that Lu uses in his goal of educating people on the Black West experiences and of the cultural pride associated with all of the contributions made by African Americans.

“History notes that one out of every six cowboys was African American; therefore, the BPIR is a fitting tribute to Black cowboys and cowgirls nationwide,” says Vason.

The BPIR is named after William “Bill” Pickett, who was the creator of bulldoggin’. Pickett would race on his horse to catch a steer, and then leap out of his saddle to gram the steer’s head and twist it slowly toward the sky.

He would overpower the animal by sinking his teeth into the steer’s upper lip. Bull dogging is the only rodeo event that is traced back to its inventor. Pickett was a star attraction on the rodeo and Wild West Circuit for more than 15 years, after the turn of the century.

He was honored posthumously 40 years after his death in 1972, with an induction into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 1989, Bill was inducted into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), and in 1996, he was the first Rodeo Athlete inducted into the Black Cowboy Walk of Fame in Denver, Colorado.

Pete Knight - Bull Rider

Pete Knight - Bull Rider

The Bill Pickett Invitational Finals Rodeo offers attendees a unique look at some of today’s hottest African-American cowboys and cowgirls from across the United States as they compete to determine who the 2008 champions will be.

This rodeo represents the best-of-the-best cowboys and cowgirls who have mastered needed skills to compete in the Bill Pickett Invitational Finals Rodeo.

The rodeo is a sport that challenges the mental ability and wit, and physical stamina of its participants like no other sport. Make this rodeo a family weekend and enjoy a complete cultural experience done Black American style…


— The special “Rodeo for Kidz Sake” on Friday, November 21st from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas.

— The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo on Saturday, November 22nd at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas.

NOTE: Rodeo tickets can be purchased at the South Point Hotel and Casino Box office or on-line at