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Black Women Equestrians Are Adding Much-Needed Colour To Polo, Show Jumping & Dressage

The Black Equestrian, a short film directed by Sheila Kuyuuma, is an exploration of black women and the space they are taking up in the world of equestrian sports. A 14 minute documentary by Together TV, funded through the Diverse Film Fund 2021, Kuyuuma transports us into a world unknown to many of society outside the confines of elite private schools and the bourgeoisie. The “Sport of Kings” has often be reserved for families whose accents would never wander further than the posh streets of Chelsea and Maidstone and for many, watching Kuyuuma’s The Black Equestrian is the first time they have seen black women playing polo, show jumping and taking part in dressage competitions.

Entering the world of equestrian sports can be very intimidating; it seems inaccessible to those outside of the sport, from the shining beautiful large horses to the crisp and clean jodhpurs barely worn even after a day’s competition. Chasing an equestrian dream requires time, money and most importantly, access to the animals, the trainers and the world of equestrian sports – one that isn’t often afforded to those in inner city areas where the few open green spaces are edges along the concrete parks, not tailored fields designed for million-pound horses.