Awards to celebrate contribution of African American equestrians

Awards aims to acknowledge and honor Black equestrian trailblazers.
Image by Rodnae Productions

Nominations are open for an award that celebrates the contribution of Black equestrians to the horse industry.

The Black Boots Awards (BBA) aim to bring the work, existence, and accomplishments of African American equestrians out of the shadows and media pockets into the forefront, while reviving, acknowledging, and celebrating Black historical pioneers.

The awards are an initiative of Ebony Horsewomen, Inc. (EHI) and Jeffrey Fletcher, a former New Haven, Connecticut Mounted Police Officer and the owner and President of the Calvin Fletcher African American History Museum, in Stratford, Connecticutt.

From the beginnings of the equestrian sport in the United States, African Americans made significant contributions to the horse industry. In racing, the first 13 winning jockeys of the Kentucky Derby were Black men.

“These contributions and so many others were made. We were and still are ranchers, jockeys, trainers, grooms, breeders, competitors and so much more. This history has been hidden, dismissed, and denied and erased from history. It is time to acknowledge and celebrate African American equestrians,” EHI said.

The Black Boots Awards will celebrate the many Black equestrians across the US today in both English and Western disciplines and in several categories.

Eight judges from across the country will choose the winners, and celebrities will be joining the event virtually.

The awards ceremony will take place virtually on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at 7pm (EST) and will be shown live on several platforms. The ceremony will be broadcast locally, in Hartford, Connecticut.

» Nominations for the BBA close on August 30, 2022.

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