BRENT SUTTON & DONNIE MOORE
In the sport of rodeo, a pickup man carries a huge responsibility. Some of their duties include: Ensuring that the cowboys dismount safely from the livestock; Maintaining the safety and well-being of the livestock in the arena; Loosening or removing the flank strap from the animals so that when the animal enters the stripping chute (where the animals go after a ride), they don’t get hurt in any way; Keeping the arena clear of livestock.
To be a pickup man, you must have great horsemanship skills. In one rodeo, a pickup man can ride up to six different horses! They rotate the horses out during the performance so the horses can get breaks to rest. Depending on the size of a rodeo, they might ride two horses during the bareback competition, two horses during saddle bronc, and one or two for bull riding. In terms of horsemanship, being a pickup man requires good balance, good judgement, and quick reactions. A career as a pickup man certainly doesn’t come without bumps, bruises, or broken bones; these men risk a lot to save the contestants and the livestock. It can take a toll on the body.
Aside from making sure the cowboys get back on their feet safely, the pickup men also keep an eye on the livestock and their safety. Stock contractors pay close attention to this since the animals that participate are like family to them. It is never just guaranteed that you will get selected to be a pickup man for PRCA rodeos. You have to be the best to work the best rodeos and Rodeo Rapid has two of the best with Donnie Moore of Lower Brule and Brent Sutton of Onida, SD, 2020 NFR Pickupman and 2021 Top Five Nominee for Pickupman of the Year.