$2m goal to build new facility for Philly’s real-life “Concrete Cowboys”


The real-life “concrete cowboys” in Philadelphia now have a riding academy to go to, thanks to
the producers and directors of the newly released Idris Elba movie Concrete Cowboy.

The Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy (PURA) was founded to preserve the culture of black urban cowboys in the city, with the new facility providing a space to experience horses up close and personal. It started a new fundraising campaign ahead of the movie launch on April 2, and hopes to bring in $US2 million for a new, permanent facility.

This will provide stabling for 20 to 25 horses, paddocks, an indoor and an outdoor arena, as well as recreational space for other youth and veteran programs. Every dollar raised will be put towards the facility and the horses and students who will call it home.

A sketch of the proposed new PURA facility.
A sketch of the proposed new PURA facility.

PURA has joined forces with Spak Group, a real estate development company, along with architects from OZ Collaborative and Ruggiero Plante landscape civil engineers, to create a forever home for youth, the community and the Urban Black Cowboy.

Directed by Ricky Staub, Concrete Cowboy is based on the novel Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri, about a 15-year-old boy from Detroit who is sent to live with his estranged father in Philadelphia, where he learns about the little-known local urban cowboys.

The latest PURA fundraising effort is part of the “Fresh Start for Philly Youth” fundraising campaign created in partnership with “Concrete to Show Jumping”, an initiative of PURA executive director Erin Brown and North Run’s Missy Clark.

With a mission to open doors to diversified worlds within the horse industry, Concrete to Show Jumping aims to form new alliances and friendships with equestrians from diversified backgrounds.

All donations to PURA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, are tax-deductible. Corporate sponsors are encouraged to donate, with naming rights to the rings, paddocks, stalls and lounge are available.


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