“Isaac Murphy: The Prince of Jockeys”

Date Posted: Jul 20, 2015

Dr. Pellom McDaniels is presenting “Isaac Murphy: The Prince of Jockeys,” a lecture about one of the most dynamic and historic racing jockeys of the late 19th century, achieving a winning average of more than 34 percent. Isaac Murphy was one of the most successful jockeys of his time, becoming the first African American to own a racehorse.

Murphy was the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby three times: 1884, 1890, and 1891. In 1890 Murphy raced against Ed “Snapper” Garrison, a white jockey who was said to be Murphy’s rival. The race was said to be driven by racial tension, and ended with Murphy’s victory. Despite this win, Murphy’s popularity and success soon decreased.

Dr. McDaniels will focus on the numerous factors that accelerated the exclusion of black men from the profession of horse racing after Murphy’s retirement.

The lecture will be supported by an exhibit at the Historic Kate Coulson House from November 1 though December 15.

Dr. McDaniels is a graduate of Emory University where he is a faculty curator of African American Collections of Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books.

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