Taking Back America

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Meet the Compton cowboys: How LA neighborhood best known as the home of NWA also hosts a community of passionate horsemen

Daily Mail
By Simon Holmes For Mailonline and Associated Press
Published: 01:29 EST, 13 September 2016 | Updated: 08:11 EST, 13 September 2016
 

Ivory McCloud maneuvers his horse, Diamond, down a street in Compton, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. Although best known as the birthplace of gangsta rap and the hometown of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, Compton has a long and vibrant equestrian history. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Ivory McCloud maneuvers his horse, Diamond, down a street in Compton, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. Although best known as the birthplace of gangsta rap and the hometown of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, Compton has a long and vibrant equestrian history. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)


 
Despite being more associated with gangster rap music and a high-murder rate in the past, Compton was and still remains a cowboy town.
 
Indeed, the town’s gang war prompted the founding of the Compton Jr. Posse which provides equestrian training and other activities for young children, to keep them from joining a life of crime.
 
The California town’s horse riding credentials are more apparent on the weekends when on major thoroughfares you’re likely to find someone like Ivory McCloud decked out in his cowboy boots and hat, proudly riding his horse.
 
‘I’ve got 40 years in this, man,’ the 56-year-old horseman says exuberantly. ‘My dad was a cowboy. I’m a cowboy. I grew up in Compton. I live in Compton, and I’ve been training horses since I was a kid.’
 
He trains Tennessee Walkers, high-gait show horses, in the backyard of his home. But it’s Diamond, his prized blue-eyed Palomino that he proudly rides in parades and rodeos whenever he can. And along the streets of his hometown.
 
Mayisha Akbar pets a horse at the Compton Junior Posse Youth Equestrian Program in Compton, Calif., on Saturday, June 6, 2016. Akbar, who moved here with her family almost 30 years ago, put her three children on horses to keep them out of trouble, and soon she found other kids wanted to ride with them. So she formed the Compton Jr. Posse and began teaching riding. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Mayisha Akbar pets a horse at the Compton Junior Posse Youth Equestrian Program in Compton, Calif., on Saturday, June 6, 2016. Akbar, who moved here with her family almost 30 years ago, put her three children on horses to keep them out of trouble, and soon she found other kids wanted to ride with them. So she formed the Compton Jr. Posse and began teaching riding. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)


 
Violent crime, meanwhile, is down in Compton compared with what it once was, although locals will tell you there are still neighborhoods you’d best stay out of.
 
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