A 25-year celebration by the Bay

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: June 20, 2009

OAKLAND — 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 exciting Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR) 25th anniversary tour at Hayward’s Rowell Ranch Rodeo Park.

At 2:30 p.m. PCT, Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12, dust will fly and spectators will cheer for their favorite competitors as they watch exhilaratingly animated Calf Ropin’, Bareback Ridin’, Bull Doggin, Ladies Barrel Racin’, Junior Barrel Racin’, Ladies Steer Undercoatin’ and Bull Ridin’.

Rowell Ranch is located at 9711 Dublin Canyon Road; between Castro Valley and Dublin on the frontage road of Interstate 580. Tickets may be purchased online billpickettrodeo.com/tickets.html or call 510-530-2747.

The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo is a powerful tool that its founder Lu Vason uses to educate 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 Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo is a fitting tribute to Black cowboys and cowgirls nationwide,” says Vason.

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.

Pickett entertained millions of people around the world, showcasing his bronco- and bull-riding and roping skills in wild west shows, circuses, world’s fairs, and he worked for 25 years with the 101 Ranch’s Wild West Show in Oklahoma.

REMAINING TOUR SCHEDULE:

Los Angeles: Industry Hill Expo CenterSat., July 18th , 7:00 pm | Sun., July 19th, 3:30 pm.

Washington, D.C.: Prince George’s Showplace ArenaFriday, Sept. 18th, 10:00 am (Rodeo for Kid’z Sake)Saturday, Sept. 19th, 1:30 pm & 7:30 pm

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Equestrian CenterBPIR FINALS – Saturday, Nov. 21st | Sunday, Nov. 22nd