I realize not all equestrian companies demonstrate the behaviour mentioned below. I am raising awareness of the lack of diversity and starting an open dialogue. This is a modified letter sent to a company in hopes of bringing this topic to light.
To Whom it May Concern:
My name is Kaitlin Wilson, I am the creator of Eyes Up, Darling, an equestrian lifestyle blog and Instagram. As a long time customer of many equestrian brands, I look forward to viewing all the new and current products through advertisements and print or digital catalogues. The latest printed catalogue I received was 31 pages long, to my surprise there was only one photo of an Asian rider in a banner. Although it was a pleasant surprise, once again my heart became heavy as my reaction shouldn't be so. In addition, on many websites there are is a very small portion of riders of colour. In 2019, there is no excuse for a multi-paged document or website, to have little to no riders of colour being represented.
While this sport is dominated by caucasian men and women, within commercial marketing the lack of diversity has become normalized. Similar to a horse’s markings, we too have physical qualities that set us apart from everyone else, but this is not accurately represented in the industry. I am saddened by the lack of representation in equestrian marketing. With this being said, riders of colour should have equal recognition and exposure even if there is a deficiency within the sport itself. As an advocate for diversity in equine marketing, I urge you to make it a higher priority to include a wider range of models whether it be race, size, gender or age.
In other industries this kind of behaviour would not be tolerated and companies who practice such behaviours would be under scrutiny. Marketing, promotions, and advertisements are just the beginning. Ultimately, I believe diversity comes from within a company, allowing different perspectives to be heard. Going forward, I hope companies consider this for future marketing and promotional material, and become leading examples for others to follow.