This chapter discusses the travails and triumphs of arguably the best bull rider in the history of the sport. It provides a cursory overview of African American involvement in the settling of the western frontier, and documents some of the verbatim statements of individuals who witnessed and/or were impacted by discriminatory practices in rodeo and American society at large. Mid-twentieth century rodeo was susceptible to such practices due to the subjective and arbitrary nature of the sport's scoring system. In addition, scores were not immediately posted after each ride. During Willie Thomas' career scores were usually posted after the competition was over; thus, scores could be manipulated in favor of certain competitors. A former rodeo cowboy and promoter recanted a story in which Thomas rode a bull for approximately 15 seconds. Many who initially started down the rodeo trail with Thomas opted to stay closer to home, in more hospitable environs, where life was more predictable.