ISAAC BURNS MURPHY SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
African-American Jockeys once championed the Kentucky Derby. Oliver Lewis was the first person to win the Kentucky Derby in 1875. Alonzo Clayton was the youngest to win in 1892 at the age of 15. Isaac Burns Murphy still holds the world record for lifetime percentage winnings in Thoroughbred Racing history, with 628 wins out of 1,412 starts. His winnings include three Kentucky Derby wins, four American Derby wins, and five Latonia Derby wins. This record remains unmatched to date. Black men continued to dominate the sport throughout the late 19th century until the constraints of Jim Crow permanently disbarred them from participation. James Winkfield was the last black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. He won two consecutive races, in 1901 and 1902.
Through a historical expose’ we are able to revisit the past and resurrect derby racing as an authentic African-American sport. We honor those southern athletes whose thoroughbred racing skills originated, and were developed in the West African Durbar. Their expertise and passion for the sport paved way and laid the very foundation for the celebrated Kentucky Derby race as we know it today.
We created Harlem Derby to spotlight this important African American heritage. Our mission is to empower the next generation on young black equestrians, jockeys and trainers and provide opportunities for African American youth to rejoin the horse riding community and embrace the principals of horsemanship. We believe that educating youth on the legacy of Black Jockeys in the US & abroad has the power to inspire them to take ownership of their lives, dream big and work hard to be the best that they can be. We harness the historic achievements of Black Jockeys to promote reading, a commitment to life-long learning, and a greater sense of self-efficacy.
The Harlem Derby Cares, Isaac Burns Murphy Scholarship Award provides a fully funded scholarship opportunity to African-American youth from low-income households. The scholarship recipient will learn horsemanship and participate in recreational activities through summer equine training and immersion programming. The award is customized to suit the needs and abilities of the recipient and will provide a progressively tiered education in equitation, to include riding lessons, and an introduction to grooming, tacking, general care of horses, correct use and care of horse equipment, and stable safety. The awardee will receive a mandatory evaluation prior to entering the program and be placed in a group of peers palatable with their skill level. The student will be placed in hourly training lessons prior to full immersion into the program to ensure basic comfort level and safety. Only one Scholarship will be awarded to a student. Not all students who apply will receive the scholarship.
Must be between 6 – 17 years of age
Must be a full-time student
Maintains a GPA of 2.5 (or higher)
Must demonstrate financial need
Art Work – Students should submit an original piece of artwork representing one of the Black Winners of the Kentucky Derby. The list of winners is provided below:
Year Jockey Horse
1875 Oliver Lewis Aristides
1877 Willie ‘Billy’ Walker Baden Baden
1880 George Garrett Lewis Fonso
1882 Babe Hurd Apollo
1884 Isaac Burns Murphy Buchanan
1885 Erskine ‘Babe’ Henderson Joe Cotton
1887 Isaac Lewis Montrose
1890 Isaac Burns Murphy Riley
1891 Isaac Burns Murphy Kingman
1892 Alonzo Clayton Azra
1895 James ‘Soup’ Perkins Halma
1896 Willie Simms Ben Brush
1898 Willie Simms Plaudit
1901 Jimmy Winkfield His Eminence
1902 Jimmy Winkfield Alan-A-Dale
2. Two paragraph essay – Scholarship applicants should submit a 500-word essay about the drawing explaining the artwork.
*Note only original artwork will be accepted.
How to apply:
To be considered for the scholarship, please print, complete, scan and email the application, essay and a picture of the artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday, April 13, 2020. Three finalists will be selected and those students will be required to submit the original artwork to the committee for final review on Monday, April 20, 2020. The winner will be notified and the scholarship award will be presented at the Run for the Roses Gala during the Harlem Derby Music Festival on May 2, 2020.
Late and incomplete applications will not be considered. Please follow the application instructions closely in completing your application.