A Message From President / Producer
Valeria Howard-Cunningham

WOW! The last 4 weeks have been a whirlwind. Traveling from Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft.Worth and then Atlanta. It has been non-stop: full of blessings.

We had great rodeos in Oakland, LA and Atlanta and in between Lu Vason (posthumous), Founder of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo and I were inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Multi-Culture Western Heritage Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Incredible things have been happening for the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo as we celebrate our 35 th Anniversary this year. These incredible things were only able to occur because of my incredible staff and every community that believes in supporting the Black Cowboys and Cowgirls as they tell their stories through the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo.

August is a month for us all to pick up the pace and is a month where the following are celebrated: Happiness, Black Business and Back to School to name a few.

I encourage everyone to support our Black Businesses by shopping and supporting them, embrace your kids as they return to school and make an commitment to be involved in the school year by encouraging your child to find the greatness within themselves and finally, focus on making happiness your daily mission.

Life is short, so Be Happy and lift others up to find their happiness.

Ronnie Cunningham
BPIR Atlanta Coordinator
Yeti Joins Toyota and Ariat to Partner with Nation’s Only African American Touring Rodeo
 Celebrating 35 Years of Legacy-
The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Blazed from the West Coast to the South -
Los Angeles, CA. to Atlanta, GA and now preparing to hit the East Coast in September
The Greatest Show on Dirt – is going places!
The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR) took California by storm. From Bay Area (Oakland) to Southern California (Los Angeles) rodeo lovers packed each venue to capacity. In addition, media from all over the world embarked into the rodeo scene elevating the "cowboy" mania frenzy with national and international exposure. Staff of BPIR, as well as various contestants, participated in a GQ Magazine photoshoot at the Oakland stop. In Los Angeles, Grand Marshalls' Obba Babatunde (CBS " SWAT", plays Shemar Moore's Dad) and Reginald T. Dorsey (Producing a Series call "MONOGAMY" and star in "5th Ward" both on UMC) represented BPIR on Fox11 Los Angeles News KTTV.

Celebrity's attendance did not disappoint! Academy Award and Golden Globe Winner, Actor, Singer, Comedian, Jamie Foxx; Lisa Raye, BET new series "Murder In The Thirst", and ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" Jim Pickens (Grand Marshall) and Jesse Williams (to name a few) added to the highlights of entertainment BPIR brings.

The BPIR rodeo is always going places and made a stop in the Atlanta, Georgia area!

On Saturday, August 3rd and Sunday, August 4th, BPIR rode into Conyers at the Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway, as thousands of spectators' young and old gathered to watch black cowboys and cowgirls compete in nine major rodeo events labeled as "The Greatest Show on Dirt." The events were Bare Back Ridin', Bull Doggin', Calf Ropin', Ladies Steer Undecoratin', Ladies Barrel Racin', Jr. Barrel Racin', Jr. Break Away, Relay Racin', Bareback Ridin" and Bull Ridin'—all absolutely spectacular!

Atlanta has a reputation of always offering us challenges with the weather. This year, on Saturday, a “hurricane like” storm touched down on the Georgia International Horse Park with a vengeance but the crowd nor the BPIR team let that stop them. Many said the storm was like nothing they have ever seen. As can be expected in Georgia, the storm passed, and the cowboys and cowgirls did their thing.

BPIR Team was thankful that none of the attendees or staff were injured!

While the storm did not deter anyone, Sunday rodeo was just the opposite. It was an absolutely beautiful day, sunny and hot and the competition was just as fierce.  The BPIR cowboys and cowgirls were on a mission to do their best since Atlanta was the last BPIR rodeo stop before determining which contestants would be invited to the BPIR Championship finals in September in Washington, DC/Baltimore area.

A huge thank you Ronnie Cunningham, BPIR Coordinator for the Atlanta area. Ronnie is President/CEO of Growth by Design Pasadena, LLC and Ryan's Village USA, Inc. a Georgia based non-profit that develops youth and young adult leaders and unites community stakeholder groups through connection, training and generational collaboration.

Ronnie is an executive director, certified coach, teacher, speaker and behavioral analysis consultant with the John Maxwell Team. He teaches leadership principles and develops leaders internationally. His primary passion is youth development. He is a certified YouthMax Plus trainer and serves on the John Maxwell President's Advisory Council - Youth Leadership, where he works with educators around the world to create content for youth development.

Ronnie is also a certified emotional intelligence & positive psychology practitioner/consultant with Success Dynamics International. Ronnie loves being involved in various activities and giving back to the community.

Now that the Atlanta rodeo is over, the top 10 BPIR contestants are getting ready to make a splash into the Washington, DC/Baltimore area for the culmination of an incredible 35th Anniversary season at the Prince George Showplace Arena. The BPIR Championship Finals Rodeo will take place on Saturday, September 21st at 1:30 pm & 7:30 pm. The competition will be intense as the contestants compete to determine who the 2019 Champions for All Around Cowboy and Cowgirl will be, in addition to the 2019 BPIR Event (Bareback, Bull Dogging, Tie Down Roping, Ladies Steer Undecorating, Ladies Barrel Racing and Bull Riding) champions. 

Put Washington, DC on your schedule and make your travel and hotel arrangements now, because you will not want to miss the excitement of determining the 2019 Champions! 

The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo is proud to partner with our national sponsors Toyota, Ariat, Yeti, Upscale Magazine and Bronner Brothers.

photos by Gary Roberson
Bareback Ridin’ - Tank Adams 

Bull Doggin’ Kenny Autman 

Calf Ropin’ -Jeremy Burkhalter 

Ladies Steer Undecoratin’ -Azja Bryant 

Ladies Barrel Racin’ - Savannah Roberts 

Jr Barrel Racin’ - Savannah Roberts 

Jr Breakaway -Harrel Williams 

Bull Ridin’ - Justin Richard 

Relay Race - Oklahoma All Stars
Ladies Barrel Racing - Savannah Roberts 

Jr Barrels- Savannah Roberts 

Jr Breakaway- Harrel Williams Jr

Calf Roping - Matthew Sloan 

Bull Dogging - Kenny Autumn 

Ladies Steer Undecoratin’ - Jazmine Bennett 

Bull Riding- Jacolby Richard 

Bare Back Riding - Jesse Gonzales 

Bare Back Riding - Lamonte Hosley 

Relay Race - Oklahoma Connection 
Bareback Ridin’ - Harold Miller 

Bull Doggin’ - Troy Ford 

Calf Ropin’ - Justin Richard 

Ladies Barrel Racin’ - Krishaun Adair 

Ladies Steer Undecoratin’ - Azja Bryant 

Jr Break Away - Harrel Williams Jr

Jr Barrel Racin’ - Harrel Williams Jr

Bull Ridin’ - Justin Richard 

Relay Race - Oklahoma All Stars 
photos by Gary Roberson

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