Over the past two decades, Fred Whitfield has become pro rodeo's great ambassador for minorities.He's a seven-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association tie-down roping world champion who has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas 20 times. In 1999, he became the PRCA's first African-American to win the world all-around title. Whitfield, 45, who is from the South Texas town of Hockley, was in Fort Worth on Monday to compete in the Cowboys of Color Rodeo. He finished in the money in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 5,700 at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.After turning in a time of 10.3 seconds, Whitfield finished third behind first-place finisher Brother Guilder of Kaufman who had an 8.9. Other winners were Jason Griffin, Dallas, bareback riding (with a score of 77); Danell Tipton, Spencer, Okla., steer wrestling (4.4 seconds); Trenda Monnahan, Jones, Okla., barrel racing (17.09); and Ronnie White, Spencer, Okla., bull riding (87).Whitfield was the last roper to compete, and all eyes focused on the legendary cowboy.Watching Whitfield would be the rodeo equivalent of seeing Jackie Robinson or Hank Aaron play in a pro baseball game.Charles Sampson, who clinched the world bull riding title in 1982, was the first African-American to win a world title.But Whitfield, who signed autographs for fans after Monday's Cowboys of Color Rodeo, by far is the sport's most accomplished African-American.Whitfield, who also entered the Stock Show's traditional PRCA show, which runs Thursday through Feb. 9, said he was honored to compete in the Cowboys of Color Rodeo on Martin Luther King Jr. Day."Martin Luther King paved the way for a lot of us, and I feel like I've helped the sport of rodeo by being a pioneer," Whitfield said.Whitfield is in the process of finishing a book about his storied rodeo career. The biography is scheduled to be published in April."The book talks about things such as my grandfather and how I got started and all of the people who have helped me along the way. The last chapter will be my 20th NFR, which was last year. I'm excited about it because I've traveled a million miles."Bull riding scheduledMany of the PRCA's top bull riders are entered in the Stock Show's Bulls' Night Out show, which begins at 7:30 tonight and Wednesday.For ticket information, call 817-877-2420 or visit the rodeo's website.