A Black family from Texas is wondering what happened to their horse named BLM after they dropped it off at a pet clinic and it mysteriously died.
Keeundra Hatley-Smith and her family bought the horse back in 2020 and renamed it BLM and became the first Black family to race quarter horses in Texas and are suspecting foul play after the horse inexplicably passed away shortly after being dropped off at the Weems & Stephens Equine Hospital for a routine checkup.
“We took our horse BLM an hour away for a VET for a short, simple procedure that will collect sperm for future breeding and also have him castrated so that he can perform without overactive hormones and have better success during the race,” wrote Keeundra Hatley-Smith in an emotional Instagram post. “We left him healthy! But when we returned to pick him up, he didn’t respond…“There is no proof of post-op care and documentation. We are so hurt!” said Hatley-Smith. “We need answers, and we want justice! This is proof that Black people AND THEIR PETS are neglected in all aspects of the medical fields,” concluded Hatley-Smith. “My children loved him and knew exactly what his name stood for. Now it’s gone!”
I hope the family gets more than what they deserve for the horse if there was foul play.
“It started in 1961 when we was children right here in Dallas, Texas,” [James] Hatley Jr. said. “We started racing horse in 1963.” They all continue the legacy of their father and mother.
“My daddy was a trailblazer; we followed in his footsteps,” Hatley Jr. said. “When we started racing horses. When we went to the track we were the only Black people there.”
“We lost our dad in ‘06, we lost our mom in ‘08. We hadn’t run a horse competitively since 1990,” Hatley Jr. said. The brothers could remember going to the track back then with their dad and experiencing racism.
“We’d go to the race tracks, it’d be 500 to 600 white people and we’d be the only Blacks there and they’d cheat us so bad,” Gregory Hatley said.
Their parents overcoming the odds inspired them to come back 31 years later and race in 2021. “Everything we’ve accomplished, we’ve had to fight for,” Hatley said.
Flip the page to see more.