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First Black Family In Texas To Race Quarter Horses Names Newest Steed ‘Black Lives Matter’

First Black Family In Texas To Race Quarter Horses Names Newest Steed  ‘Black Lives Matter’

The horse is making a name for himself!

The first Black family in Texas to race quarter horses has named their newest steed “Black Lives Matter.” 

The Hatley Bros. Racing Stables is a family-owned establishment, created six decades ago by James Hatley Sr. His granddaughter Keeundra Hatley-Smith told Because of Them, We Can that he "was the first African American to race quarter horses in the state of Texas from the 60's to the early 90's."

His sons Ke’Elronn and James Hatley Jr. have now taken over for him, owning and operating the business. Recently, the family bought a new steed for their stable, giving the horse a unique name, “Black Lives Matter.” The Hatleys say they put a lot of thought into the name, hoping to use it as a way to consistently bring awareness to the condition of Black people in America and leave its mark on race attendees whether the horse wins or not. 

“We named him Black Lives Matter because we knew he was special and want to bring our culture to the sport,” Hatley-Smith said. 

Ke’Elronn took to social media to share a video of the new horse being registered by officials. 


So far, the horse has competed in a number of races, Ke’Elronn and his family taking to social media to share the most recent one at Louisiana Downs. Black Lives Matter began in last place, quickly beating out the other horses to prove himself victorious, winning as the family cheered him on and celebrated. 


The legacy of Black cowboys is currently experiencing a resurgence in popular culture with more spotlight being placed on those keeping the history alive across the country like the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, various films paying homage to legendary Black cowboys, and the work of photographers like Ivan McClellan intent on documenting the stories of Black cowboys. 

Here are a few photos that Keeundra shared with Because of Them, We Can that show her family's rich history in racing horses. 

The naming of the Hatley horse helps keep the necessary conversations going, even if it is a bit overt in messaging. Currently Black Lives Matter is resting and gearing up for his next race, which is scheduled for April 2022. 

Photos Courtesy of Keeundra Hatley-Smith