Orange County African American Historical Society
The History of African American Horsemen in Orange County
Sunday February 2, 2020 at 2:00 PM
The Art Center in Orange
Presenter: Zann Nelson
Zann Nelson is a Historian and a Virginia native who is well versed on African American culture both on the local and national level. The Business Meeting for members was from 1:30-2:00pm.
Following the Business Meeting, Zann Nelson led the attendees in a discussion on African American Horsemen and how they impacted the Horseracing business and our nation. Many were surprised to learn that at one time African Americans dominated the field of Horseracing not only as trainers but as groomers and jockeys as well. The first time the Kentucky Derby took place, it was won by an African American. People of Color dominated the field up until Jim Crow regulations began to take a firm grip on the sport. Even when that occurred, some African Americans made their way to Europe and were successful there. The Presentation chronicled the history of African American Horsemen from the 19th century to the present day.
The original exhibit was shown at the 2018 Montpelier Races and was the result of collaboration between Nelson, James Madison’s Montpelier, and Martha Strawther, executive director of the Montpelier Races.