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‘Horses don’t see Black or white’: mother of young Black rider hopes to nurture future talent

“Talent has no boundaries”, says the mother of a young Black rider who hopes to help inspire adults to nurture the equestrian stars of the future.

Shona Kelly says her six-year-old daughter has inherited her own love of horses. Shona has ridden since her childhood, in East Dulwich, London.

“I think she’s inherited my enthusiasm,” Shona said. “She’s taken to it amazingly quickly and is doing really well.”

Shona said that now, in their West Wickham home, as was the case in East Dulwich, there were not many Black riders.

“Because Aisha’s only six, she doesn’t feel different, just does it and everyone loves her,” she said. “I feel more minority people should take up riding, because it’s for everyone. Talent doesn’t have boundaries.

“Talent should be nurtured; I’ve always supported my kids in what they want to do and that’s what I’m doing with Aisha.”

Shona added: “I think a lot of Black people feel that because riding is mainly white people, it’s not for them but I never felt like that; my parents raised me to think I could do anything I wanted.”

Shona said she fears a lot of talent is wasted as people never have the chance to prove what they can do.

“Horses are for everyone; they don’t see Black or white,” she said.

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“I’m quite observant and I’ve never noticed discrimination or prejudice, but from my own community, I did get ‘what do you like horses for?’ and friends thinking I was a bit odd, but my parents were happy.

“Aisha’s so young but I really hope to inspire people to nurture talent in children. I wish I’d had the opportunity to take riding further, but with Aisha, if it’s her dream, the sky’s the limit.”

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