A phrase often repeated at rodeos is ‘those are the best cowboys in the arena folks’ referring to the pickup men. You rarely have the chance to meet one because they are so busy from end to end. It would be fair to nickname RAM Pickup Men – RPMs – since they ride so many skillful rotations with almost musical grace. The College National Finals Rodeo which concluded in Casper last weekend provided a good opportunity for “pickup talk” mainly during the very long and relatively calm, seven to eight hour, slack sessions. Wyoming cowboy Duane Gilbert ranches near Encampment and has worked many big rodeos including the RAM National Circuit Finals and Cheyenne Frontier Days. His pickup partner in Casper was Shawn Calhoun. Prior to the CNFR championship round Gilbert shared insights about picking up, partners and horses.