When the words “Black Lives Matter” first bellowed from loudspeakers, most people at the track had no idea what was going on. Moments later, as the Hatley family’s quarter horse sprinted toward the finish line, it became clear that a horse named “Black Lives Matter” had entered the race—and won. This victory marked the beginning of a new and exciting era in Texas horse racing history.
As the first Black family in Texas to race quarter horses, the Hatley’s recent win continues the work of their father who raced horses from 1963 until 1990. The family stopped entering competitions decades ago because as one brother, Gregory Hatley explained, “We’d go to the race tracks, it’d be 500 to 600 white people and we’d be the only Blacks there and they’d cheat us so bad.”
The recent win of “Black Lives Matter” signals the Hatley family’s heartfelt return to the business of horse racing. “This is God’s plan,” Hatley Jr. said. “That’s why his name is Black Lives Matter . . . because Black Lives truly matter. We just want the world to know that we’re here and we’re here to stay.”
Click below to learn more about the Hatley’s—a proud Black family standing squarely in the boot prints of their father. Despite pushbacks, they are committed to keeping the phrase “Black Lives Matter” prominent in social discourse.