In 2020, the topic of racial equity came roaring into the headlines in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Many of us wondered what we could do to help bring healing to our country. As equestrians, we can see that representation of racial diversity is lacking in our sport. Photographers Shelley Paulson, Bethany Pastorial, Erica Hills, and Anna Smolens decided to do their part to bring about change by forming a photography project, the Equestrians of Color Photography Project, that would amplify the voices of equestrians of color by giving them a place to tell their story, while also raising awareness about the lack of representation in equestrian visual media.
With the project, photographers across the nation serve as allies by photographing each participant and interviewing them about their experiences as diverse members of the equestrian community. The resulting images and interview responses are combined in a blog published once a week at www.equestriansofcolor.com.
More About the Equestrians of Color Project
To date, the project has published over 55 stories from breeders, trainers, non-profit organizers, riders, barn owners, and horse lovers across the nation. The impact is significant with increased diversity seen in publishing, advertising campaigns, associations, and nationwide movements.
If you are an equestrian of color 16 years or older interested in sharing your story through the project, you can connect with a local photographer ally at www.equestriansofcolor.com.