FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDKY) – Gov. Beshear is recognizing the contributions of African Americans to horse racing ahead of the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Monday, Gov. Beshear signed a proclamation naming April 25 – May 1 Ed Brown Society Week in the commonwealth.
“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,” said Gov. Beshear. “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.”
The Ed Brown Society is named after Edward D. Brown, who was born into slavery in Lexington in 1850, but became one of the most accomplished African American horsemen in the history of thoroughbred racing.
Brown’s distinguished career highlights include two standout victories: He rode Kingfisher to win the fourth running of the Belmont Stakes in 1870, and led Baden-Baden as a trainer in 1877 to win the third running of the Kentucky Derby.
Brown’s important role in thoroughbred racing was confirmed with his 1984 induction into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
The Ed Brown Society was recently established to celebrate the rich history of African Americans in the equine industry as well as to create opportunities for young African American Kentuckians.