UPHOLDING THE LEGACY OF FAMOUS BLACK COWBOYS LIKE BILL PICKETT, THIS OKMULGEE RODEO SHOWS THAT SKILL KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES.
America’s oldest black rodeo, the Okmulgee Roy LeBlanc Invitational Rodeo has been a local tradition since Roy LeBlanc and his father Charles started it in 1955. These days, more than 1,500 people gather every August to watch cowboys strut their stuff in the arena.
Adrenaline. That’s the word Clarence LeBlanc uses when recalling a good ride.
Red dust flying in his wake, the horse’s hoofbeats like a pulse in his ears, galloping alongside a five-hundred-pound steer, until the moment came—a fraction of a second—when Clarence bolted through the air guided only by reflex and momentum. He’d jump on the steer’s back, seize the horns, and bow the steer’s head so its legs rose from the ground. And that’s when he’d grab the steer by the nose for a good throw.