Mr. Jose Orta is the contributor of the following information. Bill Pickett was from the Taylor area, and Taylor proudly claims this remarkable cowboy. He indeed invented bulldogging and joined the Wild West Show. He performed internationally–pretty phenomenal for an African American cowboy from Taylor.
Bill Pickett is considered the most famous African American rodeo performer of all time, nearly started a riot in Mexico in 1908. On December 23, 1908 in Mexico City, Zack Miller, owner of the 101 Ranch and Wild West Show, boasted that no Mexican bullfighter was as tough as Pickett, that Pickett could probably ride one of the meanest Mexican bulls, or throw two steers in the time it would take the best bullfighter to throw just one. A challenge was leveled: Mexico’s leading bullfighters wagered $5,000 Dollars that Pickett could not stay on the back of one of their fighting bulls for five minutes. Pickett accepted the challenge, and a crowd of more than 25,000 hostile Mexicans crowded into the city’s new bullring to watch him fail. Pickett was flung around like a rag doll on the bull’s back, but the 25,000 Mexican onlookers took offense at what they deemed a desecration of their national sport. The Mexican spectators were shocked and upset to see a black man jump from his horse and wrestle steers to the ground using little more than his teeth. Pickett succeeded in holding on to the bull for fully seven minutes! This crowd wanted him to be killed and booed him lustily. They threw bricks, bottles, stones, knives, and cans, wounding Pickett and his horse. President Porfirio Diaz, seeing the potential for an actual riot, called in the army under whose protection Pickett escaped with his life. Nevertheless, his victory was apparent even to the hostile crowd, and in the United States the event made headlines everywhere.