BET ON BLACK: The First Black Family In Texas To Own Quarter Horses Has A Winner Named Black Lives Matter

The first Black American family to race quarter horses in Texas has added another winner to the brood.

 The Hatley brothers, Ke’elronn and James, Jr., named their newly-minted four-legged champion “Black Lives Matter.” In an effort to bring consistent awareness to the plight of Black folks in America- then and now, the family put a considerable amount of thought into horse’s moniker. The clan also wanted to leave an impression on racehorse fans when they heard the name whether the horse won or not.

“We named him Black Lives Matter because we knew he was special and want to bring our culture to the sport,” Keeundra Hatley Smith, Ke’elronn’s daughter, said.

Ke’elronn shared a hilarious video of registering their horse on Instagram. A white registrar went through a list of applications naming the competing horse and its respective owner – and upon getting to the Hatley’s horse and seeing the name – he yelled, “Black Lives Matter,” and stared at the camera. 

@hatleybros2 Black lives still Matter..Today and everyday, in every way.  ✊🏾🐴 #HatleyBros2 #fyp #foryoupage #horseracing ♬ original sound – Ke’Elronn Hatley

Ke’elronn’s father started a horse training business in the 60s. The elder Hatley owned, trained and rode colts. He also competed in races for over three decades. 

To date, Black Lives Matter has raced four times. Recently, the chocolate stallion won his first race at Louisiana Downs. The video posted Friday showed the horse starting in the dead last position. He quickly pulled forward ahead of his competitors to clutch the glorious win. 

The ecstatic owner could be heard screaming with excitement as his prized stallion ran to victory.


@hatleybros2 Thank you for all the support! Who’s ready for the next race ?! 🙌🏾🖤 #fyp #foryoupage #horseracing #horsesoftiktok #blackcowboys #hatleybros2 ♬ From Tha Back – lil.eaarl

Black cowboys have been an integral part of Texas’ history. Since the early 1800s, Black ranch hands and cowboys made good after slavery by living and working on the open range. Many men were horsebreakers, while others performed in rodeos. Other cowboys became farm and ranch owners, and some became notorious gunslinging outlaws.

Last May, a filly named Breonna Taylor, in honor of the young Louisville paramedic killed by police, won Churchill Downs.

Black Lives Matter is scheduled to race again in April 2022.