“Education is the most powerful weapon
which you can use to change the world”
– Nelson Mandela
The mission of the Bill Pickett Memorial Scholarship Fund is to provide scholarships to deserving students nationwide and provide educational opportunities!
Adapted from Black History Now
1870-1932 Bill Pickett was the most famous African American rodeo performer of all time, and the first black cowboy movie star. He invented a way of controlling steers called “bulldogging,” and became a star attraction of wild west shows. Now known as “Steer Wrestling,” the event he created remains a popular part of rodeos to this day.
Pickett was born in Travis County, Texas, in 1870, the second of 13 children. His parents were emancipated slaves. As was common for African Americans in the region, he also had Cherokee ancestry. The young Pickett showed an interest in animals, and after finishing fifth grade, began working as a ranch hand. He learned the skills required for a cowboy including riding horses and roping and herding cattle, combined with a temperamental toughness and resilience. Pickett excelled in all regards and was soon giving exhibitions, passing a hat for donations. By 1888, the family had settled in southwestern Texas near Taylor, and that year, Pickett performed in the town’s first fair. He and his brothers founded their own horse-breaking business called Pickett Bros. Bronco Busters and Rough Riders Ass’n. Pickett became a deacon of the Baptist Church, joined the National Guard, and married Maggie Turner in 1890 with whom he would have nine children.
Students graduating from high school or attending an accredited technical school, community college or four-year university in the United States.
For 2022 we will award (2) Lu Vason Scholarships. Deadline to submit application is December 30, 2021.
Applications will only be accepted for the state where you reside and where the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR) is presented.
December 30, 2021
Ft. Worth, TX
May 17, 2022
July 1, 2022
Los Angeles, CA:
July 1, 2022
July 10, 2022
September 1, 2022
Recipient will receive a scholarship to help with the cost of books. Eligible students are those graduating from high school or attending an accredited technical school, community college or four-year university in the United States.
Deadline is December 30, 2021.
One BPIR Calf Roping contestant will receive a scholarship to cover calf roping fees for one year.
Applications for consideration must be received by December 30, 2021
2617 Gray Mill Way,
Office Phone: 303.373.1246