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About Ed Brown Society

The mission of the Ed Brown Society (EBS) is to celebrate the rich history of African-Americans in the equine industry and to create opportunities for young people of color to gain industry exposure, training and experience. EBS offers scholarships and internships to students who demonstrate interest, skills and commitment to become trainers, farm managers, equine veterinarians, bloodstock agents and business professionals in all aspects of the thoroughbred industry.

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About Ed Brown

Born in Lexington, KY in 1850, Edward D. Brown was sold at the age of seven to the proprietor of Woodburn Stud, near Midway, KY. Brown went on to apprentice under Ansel Williamson, the African- American trainer of the first winner of the Kentucky Derby – Aristides.

Edward Brown furthered his career as a jockey, riding Asteroid for Ansel Williamson at Woodburn. In 1877, Brown developed Kentucky Derby winner, Baden for Daniel Swigert. During Brown’s most distinguished career, he won the Belmont Stakes as a jockey and the Kentucky Derby as a trainer. He also trained and owned a number of other stakes winners. He established his own stable at the track in Lexington and later moved his operation to Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Brown had a knack for spotting and developing promising young horses, such as Hall of Famers and Kentucky Derby winners Ben Brush and Plaudit, and then selling them to prominent owners. During his 40-year career, Brown also developed or owned Spendthrift, Monrovia, Etta, and Pure Rye. Brown was friends with Isaac Murphy, who often rode for him. Murphy realized that Brown, like himself, represented the social mobility possible for African Americans through racing.

Edward Brown went on to become one of the most accomplished horsemen in the history of thoroughbred racing. At one time, Edward Brown was one of the richest African Americans in Kentucky. But as times got tough for Black horsemen, he was overly generous in providing risky loans, many of which were never paid back. As a result, by the time of his death in 1906, most of his fortune was gone.

Edward Dudley Brown was inducted into to the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1984.

Source: International Museum of the Horse – Kentucky Horse Park

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