The week highlights the impact African Americans had on the industry and to encourage young people in getting involved in horse racing.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky is acknowledging the contributions and the impact African Americans made to horse racing just days before the 147th Run for the Roses.
Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation on Monday naming April 25 thorough May 1 Ed Brown Society Week.
“In the 1800s and early 1900s, the majority of jockeys were African Americans. But, despite their centuries of contributions, after World War I, African Americans were pushed out of the sport,” Beshear said. “I am proud to recognize the Ed Brown Society, an organization helping right this wrong by providing mentorship to the next generation of African American Kentuckians in the horseracing industry.”
Lexington native Edward Brown was a notable figure in horse racing. He was born into slavery in 1850, becoming a jockey in his teen years. His love for the sport helped him to become an accomplished African American horseman.
Brown rode Kingfisher to with the fourth Belmont Stakes in 1870 and led Baden-Baden as a trainer in 1877 to win the third Kentucky Derby.
He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1984.
The Ed Brown Society was created to celebrate the history of African Americans in horse racing and to also create opportunities for young African Americans. The organization wants to help more people pursue their passion while helping the industry reach its full potential.
“At the Ed Brown Society, in our past, we want to acknowledge and educate about the wonderful history of African Americans in horse racing in our great state,” Ray Daniels, chief executive officer of Equity Solutions Group and president of the Ed Brown Society, said. “In the present day, we want to highlight the great jobs and opportunities in the equine industry. We’ve been successful in guiding 30 African Americans into horse ownership in the past few years. And the future for us is to educate young students to make these opportunities in the industry a reality.”