Last updated on March 1st, 2022 at 09:01 pm
To celebrate Black History Month, it is important to highlight the work of Black equestrians throughout the community. Professional equestrian Rob Jacobs is a notable example, as a columnist at Sidelines Magazine, a USEF rated judge, and a trainer at Aleron Show Stables in Seattle, Washington.
Rob Jacobs’ Early Life
Professional Rob Jacobs has recently stepped into the spotlight of the equestrian industry through his hard work and efforts in the equestrian community. Though Rob has experienced great success, he also experienced struggle throughout his early years as a rider. As a young rider without the advantages that come with a lot of money and connections, coupled with the oppressions he has experienced as a minority, Jacobs’ story now represents hope for many younger equestrians struggling with making their way.
Rob Jacobs fell in love with the hunter and equitation rings while growing up in Maryland. With limited resources behind him, he worked hard to earn additional opportunities to develop his passion for horses. He obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree from St. Andrews University (North Carolina) and won an Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association national championship during his time there. He’s trained horses and riders in a university setting as well as in private show barns on the East Coast.
He also started a nonprofit called, “The Robert Lawrence House of Opportunity” to provide affordable quality instruction via clinics. Rob currently works as the Senior Rider and Trainer at Aleron Training Stables out of Seattle Washington.
Recognizing Similarities with Appearing Different
As a young child competing at unrecognized shows in Maryland Rob recalls, “I was aware that I stood out and was watched by many exhibitors, “It wasn’t until later in life I realized those stares were not because I was a male rider or even a good rider but because I was a black rider in a sport of predominately white athletes.” Rob later shares “I had a somewhat protected upbringing in that regard” and that he also “appreciated that and because of it was able to realize ways I am more similar to other ethnicities than different.”
Rob goes on to tell of a realization he has had over the past few years, “As equestrians we are more alike than we realize. We all experience similar emotions as we ride a horse we love, buy our first horse, compete in a competition, or do a new class with our horse. I know this to be true, at this point in my career I have had the opportunity to work with horses and riders all over the country”.
“We share more in common than we realize,” Rob continued. “I make efforts to remind myself and others of this so that we can continue to grow as a sport.”
To donate to Rob’s Organization you can visit the Robert Lawrence House of Opportunity website.