The Washington International Horse Show is proud to host the inaugural ETHOS Award Ceremony honoring the contribution of African Americans to the horse world.
Please join us for the Ethos Awards Champagne Brunch on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at The Show Place Arena during the Washington International Horse Show. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.
Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this special award possible: Jane Greenwood, Kostow Greenwood Architects, Agnes Gund, Sarah Willeman Doran, Turnabout Farm. and two anonymous donors.
“With this first year of the Ethos Award, we are delighted to build on the steps that the United States Equestrian Federation has taken to increase access and representation of Brown and Black people in equestrian sport,” says Roberta Wilmore, co-founder of the Ethos Award. “The goal of this event is to assist the horse show world and the equestrian industry in its efforts to engage a diverse audience and to document and honor Brown and Black people who have contributed to the sport from slavery to today.”
Six African Americans will be honored for their individual and collective contributions to the advancement of equestrian sports, and who are from families where excellence in equestrian sport has spanned more than one generation. The honorees are from throughout the U.S,, and youngest is 13!
Donna Cheek, CA
Donna Cheek is receiving a special Ethos Award. In 1982 she became the first Black rider on the US Equestrian Team in show jumping. In 1984, she starred in the award-winning NBC special about her life: “One More Hurdle: The Donna Cheek Story,” performing her own stunts. From 1988 to 1995 Donna represented Adolph Coors as an exhibition rider, lecturing at inner-city schools and a motivational speaker to youth groups and women’s organizations. In 2014 she became a volunteer contributing producer for the KCBX show “Issues and Ideas.” She was inducted as the first Equestrienne into the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2017 she received the Trailblazer Courage Award from the Women’s Sports Museum. Donna is currently semi-retired from training horses and in pre-production on an animal show for TV
Greg Harbut, KY
Greg Harbut is making a name for himself in the thoroughbred world as the owner of Harbut Bloodstock Agency, where he specializes in international markets and focuses on racehorse management, top breeding stock, and identifying racing talent. He is the grandson of Tom Harbut, a prominent African-American horseman, and the great-grandson of Will Harbut, best known as the groom to one of the greatest racehorses ever, Man o’ War.
Most thrilling for Greg is that he is contributing to and building on the extraordinary legacy begun by his grandfather and his great-grand father. Pursuing his dream led him oversees where he received first-class thoroughbred training and education at a young age.
Jerome Parker, MA
Jerome Parker is a third-generation member of a distinguished family of horsemen, a trainer and has established a national reputation for his work as a ringmaster at prominent events like the American Royal and Saddle Seat World Championships. He was born on his grandfather’s horse farm in Amenia, NY. His grandfather was the influential Black trainer, Joe Parker, of Joe Parker Stables. Jerome’s father, Hugh Parker, was well known in the Arabian horse industry. His grandfather, father, and uncles competed at the highest level and although there were many closed doors, they left a strong legacy. In 2021, Jerome was invited to work as ringmaster at 24 horse shows.
Kortnee Solomon, Texas
Kortnee Solomon will be 13 in October 2022. At the age of 11, she was already a pro on the rodeo trail having won many championships. She began competing at the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, the oldest Black-owned rodeo circuit in the United States, at the age of 5. Kortnee is the daughter of 11-time Invitational Champion, Kanesha Jackson. Kortnee grew up in a rodeo family. She is a champion rider but also does dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, and basketball. She braids her own horses and she and her mother feed, groom, train, and ride together regularly. They have a powerful bond. Her grandmother, Stephanie Haynes, is an 18-time Invitational Champion and sits on the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Board of Directors.
Randy Ward, FL
William “Randy” Ward was brought up in the horse business by horse savvy parents. His father, Wallace Ward, ran a popular riding academy on the outskirts of Boston, MA, and became an equine chiropractor and equine dentist in the U.S. and Europe. Randy rode with top event rider, Michael Plumb, at a young age and trained with Bruce and Buck Davidson before building a successful business of his own training, teaching, and competing in Ocala, FL. He has even used his abilities as an equestrian stunt double for Hollywood. Randy is one of a few African-American riders in the upper levels of Eventing.
Cheryl White was the first Black female jockey in the world, and won 750 races over a career spanning 21 years. She rode her first race at Thistledown Racetrack in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 15, 1971. That same year, she became the first woman to win two races on the same day in two states. Then in 1983, she became the first female jockey to win five races in one day. Cheryl also raced other breeds. She was the first woman to win the Appaloosa Horse Club’s Jockey of the Year award in 1977, winning the title again in 1983, 1984, and 1985. She was inducted into the Appaloosa Hall of Fame in 2011. Cheryl’s passion to become a jockey came naturally as she was born into a horse racing family. Her father, Raymond White Sr., was an accomplished thoroughbred horse trainer with a career that spanned more than 60 years.
The Ethos Awards Champagne Brunch will be held on Saturday, October 29, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. during the 64th Annual Washington International Horse Show. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.n