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One Tank Getaways - Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Los Angeles, Ca
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One Tank Getaways - Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Los Angeles, Ca

Picture of Paul & Teresa Lowe
Updated: 11 December 2015
A couple of summer afternoons at the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo is pure family entertainment. After only a few minutes inside the Industry Hills horse show arena, you discover that this is no ordinary rodeo. The Bill Pickett Rodeo show feature African American cowboys, cowgirls and celebrity riders and ropers who not only entertain but teach audiences about the true contributions of blacks and their culture to the development of the old western United States.
Lu Vason, the creator of the Bill Pickett Rodeo Invitational | ©BillPicketRodeo
Lu Vason, the creator of the Bill Pickett Rodeo Invitational | ©BillPicketRodeo

This national and world wide touring cultural rodeo is the dream fulfilment of Lu Vason, who 31 years ago, started the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo to honor the late legendary black cowboy Bill Pickett (1870-1932). Pickett invented what’s known today in rodeos as bulldogging. It’s the skill of riding down, roping and grabbing cattle by the horns and then wrestling them to the grown. The skill was popularized in the Buffalo Bill and Will Roger Wild West Shows. Pickett is part of the National Rodeo Hall of Fame. He’s often called the greatest sweat and dirt cowhand that ever lived.

African american cowboys compete in the roping competition | ©BillPicketRodeo
African american cowboys compete in the roping competition | ©BillPicketRodeo

After only a few minutes inside the Industry Hills horse show arena, you discover that this is no ordinary rodeo. The Bill Pickett Rodeo show features African American cowboys, cowgirls and celebrity riders and ropers.

Kids enjoy a version of running of the bulls | ©BillPicketRodeo
Kids enjoy a version of running of the bulls | ©BillPicketRodeo

Children seem to really enjoy the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo’s version of the running of the bulls presentation. Youngsters get to run around in the arena trying to pet several young baby cows.

Actor Reginald T. Dorsey | ©BillPicketRodeo
Actor Reginald T. Dorsey | ©BillPicketRodeo

Award nominated actor Reginald T. Dorsey is helping to keep the rodeo dream alive for future generations. This rodeo is awesome a must experience for fantastic fun.

This rodeo also serves as a fundraiser for child educational foundations | ©BillPicketRodeo
This rodeo also serves as a fundraiser for child educational foundations | ©BillPicketRodeo

The Bill Pickett Rodeo show features African American cowboys, cowgirls and celebrity riders and ropers who not only entertain but teach audiences about the true contributions of blacks and their culture to the development of the old western United States. This rodeo also serves as a fundraiser for child educational foundations.

Emmy Award-winning actor Glynn Turman | ©BillPicketRodeo
Emmy Award-winning actor Glynn Turman | ©BillPicketRodeo

Emmy Award-winning actor Glynn Turman (Showtime’s ‘House of Lies’ series), has served as the Official Ambassador of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo for 30 of the 31 years of its existence. He is an african american cowboy and has been for many years.

Bulldogging | ©BillPicketRodeo
Bulldogging | ©BillPicketRodeo

Pickett invented what’s known today in rodeos as bulldogging. It’s the skill of riding down, roping and grabbing cattle by the horns and then wrestling them to the grown. The skill was popularized in the Buffalo Bill and Will Roger Wild West Shows. Pickett is part of the National Rodeo Hall of Fame. He’s often called the greatest sweat and dirt cowhand that ever lived.

Celebrity African American cowboys are honored | ©BillPickettRodeo
Celebrity African American cowboys are honored | ©BillPickettRodeo

Lu Vason, a one time model, actor and talent promoter, passed away in May. However, Vason’s widow Valerie and celebrity friends, such as SAG and Image Award-winning actor James Pickens Jr, (Dr. Richard Webber of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy.); Emmy-nominated TV and stage actor Obba Babatunde; Emmy Award-winning actor Glynn Turman (Showtime’s ‘House of Lies’ series); actor Reginald T. Dorsey are helping to keep the rodeo dream alive for future generations.

Award nominated actor Obba Babatunde | ©BillPickettRodeo
Award nominated actor Obba Babatunde | ©BillPickettRodeo

Award nominated actor Obba Babatunde, is also an outstanding and very experienced, African American cowboy, who has participated in the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo for many years.