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4th Annual Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sports

February 25 @ 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm


The 4th Annual Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sports will be held as an online webinar on Saturday, February 25th from 12:00 noon (UTC 17.00.00) to 2:30 p.m. (UTC 19.30.00) Eastern Standard Time. The virtual meeting will examine issues relating to diversity in domestic and international sport. The discussion will be broadcast live around the world from the Tryon International Equestrian Center.

Thanks are due to the African Confederation for Equestrian Sports (ACES), the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), Eventing Nation (eventingnation.com) and other organizations that have provided support to the seminar.

Watch the replay of the seminar here:

About the Seminar:

First launched in 2019, as part of the annual Day of the African Equestrian (DOTAE) celebrations, the seminar takes place in a climate of political, commercial and societal disruption highlighted by questions over migration, police brutality, reparations, cultural and economic imperialism, “wokeness” and a widening gap between “the haves” and the “have nots” in the United States and other countries.

The first portion of the seminar will honor recent achievements of note. Victories celebrated will include (but are certainly not be limited to) those of:

– Mimi Gochman – USA representative in the 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games (Team Gold Medalist and Individual Bronze Medalist) – selected to the U.S. Nations Cup Team (Jumping) for Vejer de la Frontera CSIO3* (Spain) and Vilamoura CSIO3* (Portugal)
– Jefferson “Tot” Goodwin, MFH – Champion – 2022 MFHA National Foxhound Performance Trials Championship
– Jad Guerraoui (Morocco) – Silver Medalist – 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games Individual Competition
– Muthoni Kimani (Kenya) – Winner, 2022 FEI Against All Odds Award
– Mia Rodier-Dawallo – Champion – 2022 U.S. Para Dressage Championship
– Pape Seck (Senegal) – Chef d’ Equipe – Team Africa – 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games
– Mavis Spencer – selected to the U.S. Nations Cup Team (Jumping) for the 2022 Vejer de la Frontera CSIO3* (Spain) and Vilamoura CSIO3* (Portugal)
– Thomas van Rijckevorsel (South Africa) – Gold Medalist – 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games Individual Competition
– Dressage South Africa Solidarity Stars Project – Winners of the 2022 FEI Solidarity Award
– Team Africa – Bronze Medalists in 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games Team Competition

The webinar will also highlight several significant initiatives towards diversity.

Topics to be explored during the 4th Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sport include:

– Demystifying horse sport – not for rich kids only… Reviving equestrian heritage in lower and middle income communities
– Developing broad-based community support for equestrian activities at all levels
– Building sustainable programs that support diversity in the horse industry
– Incorporating the lessons gleaned from social activism into the ways in which we do business
– Leveraging (new and traditional) media in horse focused education and promotion
– Developing stories that more accurately reflect the life experiences of equestrians of color
– Incorporating the rich equestrian heritages of non-white, non-European communities (including African, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native-American, Romani, South Asian and others) into our shared equestrian narrative

Melvin Cox, Managing Director of SportsQuest International, LLC and a Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz will serve as moderator of the seminar.

About Tom Bass:

A legendary American Saddlebred trainer, Tom Bass (1859 – 1934) was born enslaved in Columbia, Missouri. He played a prominent role both in the establishment of the American Royal Horse Show in Kansas City and in the promotion of the city of Mexico, Missouri as the “Saddle Horse Capital of the World.”

Highlights of his extraordinary career include championships at two World’s Fairs and more than 2,000 blue ribbons. For many years he was the only African-American permitted to compete at the American Royal.

The Tom Bass bit, developed to give the rider control without causing pain to the horse, is still in use today.


February 25
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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