The accomplishments of African-American horsemen in the early years of the sport are often forgotten, but in the years between the Civil War and the turn of the century, they dominated the field. Blacks held key positions, from jockeys to trainers to racing stable owners. Overall, 15 of the first 28 Kentucky Derby winners were riden by black jockeys and 5 were trained by black trainers.
The early 1900′s witnessed a mass exodus of African Americans out of the sport largely due to segregation and Jim Crow laws. Today, African-Americans still just make up a small fraction of the riding community, despite their illustrious history and accomplishments.