The History of Steer Wrestling

history of steer wrestlingWithout Bill Pickett, you probably wouldn’t even see steer wrestling at the rodeo. Pickett was known for designing his own technique for bulldogging (wrestling) steers. Pickett would leap from his horse to the back of a steer and wrestle it to the ground by grabbing and twisting the horns. Pickett performed at various rodeos and fairs all over Texas until he was discovered by local talent scouts. Then he went out west to tour with his brothers. Pickett performed at the 1904 Cheyenne Frontier Days and received national credibility for his talents. Pickett had a contract with Oklahoma’s 101 Ranch and performed in a multitude of arenas in the US and abroad. Many tried to imitate Pickett’s technique and over the following years there were enough participants for rodeo promoters to stage contest in the likeness of Pickett’s method of steer wrestling. Tillie Baldwin was the first woman bulldogger in 1913, however women’s steer wrestling never attained massive popularity or organization. Bill Pickett is considered the inventor of bulldogging, and he is the only individual, that a single event in rodeo can be accredited to.