Patricia Kelly is a pioneering horsewoman and a pillar in the Connecticut horse community. Patricia has been a staunch supporter of Cowboys of Color and has constantly fought to preserve the rich history of the stellar organization.
Growing up in Hartford, Patricia discovered her love for horses by caring for and eventually learning to ride a neighbor’s horse. Patricia never looked back and a lifetime Black Cowgirl was born.
Patricia is a Vietnam veteran of the United States Marine Corp. She founded Ebony Horsewomen in 1984 as a cultural and social enrichment organization for women. However in 1987, she noticed the significant negative impact of drugs on her community and particularly youth, so she redirected the organization to address this issue. She secured her non-profit status and changed Ebony Horsewomen’s mission to include helping inner city youth.
Without any outside assistance, she purchased four horses and began teaching women and youth how to ride. Patricia worked over the years to showcase her riders in parades and other events to celebrate and preserve the history of Black horseman and women. Patricia developed her innovative “Horse Sense” program that brought horses, educators and doctors into Hartford’s poorest inner city schools and communities. The program taught self-esteem, academic excellence, and abstinence from drugs and alcohol. The Horse Sense program has won numerous civic and community awards.
Today, Ebony Horsewomen Inc. operates as a full time non-profit youth development and equestrian center with over $500,000 in community support. The organization serves over 470 youth throughout Connecticut annually.
Patricia is currently developing a $63 million dollar Horse Park and Exhibition Center in Connecticut that will cater to world class equestrian events.
Source: Cowboys of Color