August 31, 2017

Pickup men make rodeo safer


By Jerry W. Kram
Rodeo is making a big comeback in the region. With cowboys pitting their strength and skill against 1,200 pound broncos and one ton bulls, it takes a lot of people to make sure both the people and the animals come through the events safely.
Pickup men are among the unsung heroes of the rodeo. These men and their horses separate the cowboys from their mounts (at least those who aren’t bucked off) and calm animals bred for a bad attitude enough so they can be guided back to their stalls.
Ryan Hanna, of Berthold, has been working with stock contractor Bailey Pro Rodeo for about six years and was riding as a pickup man in this summer’s Adrian Foote Rodeo in New Town. Bailey Pro Rodeo provides broncos, bucking bulls and other stock to rodeos across the Midwest. He said his job in the arena to to watch out for both rider and livestock.
“Our main job, first and foremost, is to make sure to get the riders off safely,” Hanna said. “But it is almost as important to keep the bucking horses safe. Their job is to buck. People might say flank straps and saddles encourages them to buck, but they are naturally going to buck if they have made it this far in professional rodeo.”

The Weather Network