The Equestrians of Color Photography Project: Kamerra Brown-Allen

Kamerra Brown-Allen. Photo by Bethany P Photography

The Plaid Horse is proud to introduce some of the photo project’s featured equestrians to our readers in each issue.

In 2020, a group of photographers came together to create the Equestrians of Color Photography Project, a weekly blog that promotes inclusion and amplifies the voices of equestrians of color ready to openly share their story with the community. Learn more at equestriansofcolor.com.

The Equestrian: Kamerra Brown-Allen

The Photographer: Bethany P Photography

Learn more: equestriansofcolor.com/kamerra-brown-allen

How do horses take part in your life today?

I attended Delaware State University, where I was the first African American to receive a full Equestrian Scholarship. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of coaching and teaching at South Dakota State University, my alma mater Delaware State University, Bridgewater College in Weyers Cave, Virginia, and most recently, William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri, where a third of the total student population rides and works towards the oldest equestrian degree in the United States. Because of people like my students, my mentors, my family, and my husband, I have the confidence to know that I can do anything I put my mind to in the equestrian world.

What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color? 

I enjoy being a role model as the only equestrian of color coaching, teaching, and riding at a college level. I feel that I’m fulfilling that dream of the little 9-year-old me. However, I didn’t always feel that way. I wanted to be white so bad, even to the point I would tell people I was mixed because my father was really light-skinned. I would tell people my dad was white that way I could fit in more to be mixed. Once I realized it didn’t matter about the color of my skin or where I came from, I changed. In the words of my cousin: “Love the skin you’re in.”

What words of encouragement would you have for other equestrians of color or people of color considering becoming equestrians?

Don’t think because you are a person of color it will be easier. You will have to work just as hard and be just as good at what you do. More importantly, you also have to want to be good. Being an equestrian of color will hinder you before it helps you. The doors are not going to open right away. Be patient, work hard, and don’t give up.


The Equestrian: Amanina Abdul Rashid

The Photographer: Shelley Paulson Photography

Learn More: equestriansofcolor.com/amanina-abdul-rashid

How do you describe yourself as an equestrian?

I’ve been told that I’m a bit of an enigma: I’m a complete perfectionist; I want to be the best that I can and I want the horse I’m riding to be able to perform to the best of their abilities as well. However, I’m no stranger to goofing off! Even though my horse Maggie and I spend a lot of our time together preparing for shows, we love playing soccer with a big exercise ball, playing ‘tag’ with each other in the arena, and chilling out in the pasture.

How did you get involved with horses?

I’ve been horse-crazy for as long as I can remember! I used to sit on a plastic bouncy horse and my mom would pretend to be the announcer as if I was in a show. It totally helped that my mom grew up showing horses too! She made sure I got on a horse at a young age, and the rest is history.

What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color?

I think the biggest challenge for me personally has been my legitimacy as a person of color. I am biracial, and my mom is white so for a majority of my life I never really knew what ‘category’ to put myself in. A lot of white people will consider me to be ‘white-passing’ and don’t tend to ask any questions until they meet my father. For a lot of my life, I’ve grappled with the duality of my identity, wondering where I fit in, or where I should fit in. And it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I don’t have to fit in just one place.


The Equestrian: Hailey Peret

The Photographer: Purple Horse Designs

Learn More: equestriansofcolor.com/hailey-peret

How do you describe yourself as an equestrian?

I describe myself as ambitious. I want to do everything and will work super hard for it. I got into horses when my dad bet on riding lessons at a silent auction when I was in preschool. I have been riding ever since and I just turned 24 years old. My primary style is jumpers and dressage, but I’ve been spending the last three years learning about Paso Finos and everything they can do.

What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color?

There’s been a lot of disappointment as an equestrian of color, but the biggest one that comes to mind is when someone refused to lease a horse to me because, and I quote, ‘Your people eat horses and I just don’t trust you.’ Might I add that I was 13 years old at the time when an adult said this to me over the phone.

What would you like to see change in the equestrian world?

I want to see more inclusion and accessibility. I want people to be able to access riding and horses even if they don’t have a lot of money like the top riders. I want to see more equestrians and leaders in the industry outright support BIPOC riders and the LGBTQ+ community and make us feel more welcome. 

Share Your Story
If you are an equestrian of color (16 years or older) interested in sharing your story through The Equestrians of Color Photography Project, you can connect with a local photographer ally via the project website equestriansofcolor.com


*This story was originally published in the October 2021 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!

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