Cowboy Bill Pickett Invents Bulldogging Cattle: This Day in Sports History

Brian Giuffra
Rodeo.
Rodeo. / Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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For those of you who weren't alive in 1893, today was a big day back then. It was the day a cowboy named Bill Pickett invented a technique where he would grab a cattle by the horns and wrestle them to the ground. The move was called bulldogging and it was quite the hit in the 19th century. Pickett's method is perhaps even more interesting.

After seeing trained bulldogs help cowboys pull down cattle in the past, Pickett had the brave idea of doing it himself. He rode his horse at the cattle, leapt on top of the animal and pulled it to the ground by bitting the cow's lip and falling backwards.

Animal-lovers, please go easy on me. I'm just reporting the facts.

A Texas native and son of a former slave, Pickett went on to have a memorable career as a cowboy, touring the southern midwest and west and putting on successful rodeos for nearly two decades. He died after getting kicked in the head by a bronco when he was 61.

It's always interesting to me how differently people lived back then. Pickett was one of 13 children, he didn't finish fifth grade, he was a ranch hand, he married a former slave and had nine children, he traveled the undeveloped west on horseback putting on shows for people who discriminated him because of the color of his skin and became famous for his skills as a cowboy. And he pulled cows down by bitting their lips. That's a life worth talking about.

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