Although exceptionally talented, Stahl seldom placed higher than third at the major rodeos mainly because he was African American. At one rodeo where he had clearly performed better than his competitors but was awarded second place, he later, perhaps to mock the judges, rode a second bronco while facing backward.
Other memorable rides include Stahl, on a previously unridden bucking horse, "Glass Eye," was so spectacular it was identified as a highlight of the rodeo. He repeated his triumph by riding another notorious bucker, "Tar Baby," backwards with a suitcase in his hand. Another African American cowboy, Ty Stokes, and Jesse Stahl rode a bucking horse seated back-to-back in what was called "a suicide ride." The total attendance at that 1912 rodeo was 4,000.
Stahl retired in 1929 and was probably the most famous African American cowboy of all time.
Some rodeo enthusiast consider Jesse Stahl the greatest of all bronco riders; neither is surprising when one considers that approximately five thousand African American cowboys rode the cattle trails in the 19th Century.
Excerpts from http://www.anothershadeofcolor.com.