I am so saddened by the news that former amateur jockey John Thomas McNamara (41) passed away this night.
Here he is photographed on Galaxy Rock prior to a race at the Cheltenham Festival in March 2013 which turned out to change his life forever.

Rest In Peace, JT. All my thoughts go out to his family and connections.

Photo: X


Behold, my existence over the last semester. I hope you enjoy it!

Collaboration between me and


James “Jimmy” Winkfield
(1882-1974), thoroughbred jockey and horse trainer, the last African American to win the Kentucky Derby in 1901. One of 11 African Americans who rode a total of 15 of 26 Derby winners between 1875 and 1902. Horse racing was America’s most popular sport at the time and as a result, they were the first black sports superstars.

  • Oliver Lewis (1875, First Kentucky Derby)
  • William “Billy” Walker (1877)
  • George Garrett Lewis (1880)
  • Babe Hurd (1882)
  • Issac Burns Murphy (1884, 1890, 1891)
  • Erskine “Babe” Henderson (1885)
  • Issac Lewis (1887)
  • Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton (1892 at age 15)
  • Willie Simms (1896, 1898)
  • James “Soup” Perkins (1895 at age 15)
  • James Winkfield (1901, 1902)
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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.


Today in 1902, African-American thoroughbred jockey Jimmy Winkfield won his second Kentucky Derby. James “Jimmy” Winkfield was born in Chilesburg, Kentucky on April 12, 1882. In 1901, he won his first derby with Eminence and in 1902 with Alan-a-Dale. 110 years later, Winkfield is the last African American to win at the Kentucky Derby. 

For more information about the Kentucky Derby’s forgotten jockeys, visit Smithsonian Magazine

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, AL-AIN : Jockeys compete in a camel race during the Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed al-Nahyan herithe festival, held at the Shweihan racecourse in Al-Ain, on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, on February 12, 2016.
The festival includes a camel beauty contest, a traditional souq, a camel auction, and competitions for traditional handicrafts. / AFP / KARIM SAHIB