We understand that the film Concrete Cowboy is being released to the public on Netflix. Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club—which promotes horse riding as an activity for inner-city Black youth—has been in existence since 2004. Since the filming of the movie began, Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club has been concerned that some portrayals depicted in the movie are based on the Club, although there has been no such attribution. During the past several weeks, the Club’s founder and Director, Ellis Ferrell, has been contacted by several sources who assumed that the film was based on his true life experiences. This is not the first time there has been such confusion. Previously, representatives of the City of Philadelphia advised the Club that another organization had applied for the use of city land, causing confusion and potential delay. The filmmakers have created a non-profit organization that has initiated a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for a new stable. Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club believes that the public will perceive that the funds raised will be for the Club and fears that this campaign will detract from its efforts to raise funds for its own permanent home and siphon potential funds from its independent initiatives. The Club hopes that the filmmakers clear the record for the public and give credit to the iconic Fletcher Street Riding Club for the pre-existing and long-term contributions it has made to Black youth by fostering horse riding as a productive and community-building activity.
Directed by Ken McFarlane www.kenmcfarlanephoto.com
Cinematography by Taj DeVore www.tajdevorebey.com
Facebook: fletcher street riding club
Friends of Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club
Introduction to the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club & El Dog: Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Ellis “El-Dog” Ferrell in 2004. Ellis founded the Club as a way to connect his love of horses with his love for children and his community. Ellis has remained the Club President for decades, and is one of the most respected horsemen in Philadelphia history. He has dedicated his life to teaching others to ride horses. Although Club funds have always been limited, and facilities a work in progress, El Dog and the Club have been there for the children of North Philly every day. Philadelphia has a rich riding history, some of which is profiled in the movie Concrete Cowboy. Fletcher Street itself has been a place for Black horsemen in Philadelphia for over 100 years. Collectively referred to as the Fletcher Street Stables, Fletcher Street is home to several historical barns that board privately owned horses. Currently, the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club is asking for continued support for our mission: to provide FREE access to horses and riding instruction for ANY PERSON willing to learn. With gentrification rapidly changing the landscape of North Philadelphia, the future of the Club is uncertain. Our goal is to ensure the Club remains a fixture in this neighborhood and the lives of this neighborhood’s children. We are committed to providing unique and enriching experiences and a safe space for all children, particularly those in North Philly. What Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club has contributed to Philadelphia’s culture and history is an invaluable resource. Horses uplift. We are working to ensure a place in the future of Philadelphia: permanent land and financial support. Your support could make a huge difference in the lives of many children.
OFFICIAL GOFUNDME PAGE FOR FLETCHER STREET URBAN RIDING CLUB (FSURC).
The Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club evolved from a century-long tradition of Urban Black Cowboys in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ and one man’s commitment to provide horsemanship experience in the inner-city.
Our stable is located in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of North Philadelphia. The 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, founded by Ellis Ferrell (82 years young), remains true to its mission in producing an alternative to outdoor leisure activity to the community and engaging urban youth in equestrian sports while teaching life skills, instilling discipline and promoting academic excellence.
In recent years, Ellis has struggled to keep his vision alive due to the lack of funding, he uses his pension to care for the horses and his property on Fletcher Street. This hindering factor, is a dis-service to many children in the community. Ellis shares pride in children learning life lessons through the equestrian world, especially those children who have never had the opportunity to ride a horse.
We need the community's help to ensure Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club has a place in the future of our city.
All funds raised will go directly to the horses and future of the club!
Donations will be used for:
- Horse feed, hay, grooming / care supplies (So. Much. Hay.)
- Medical costs for our horse family (Ellis has rescued horses his entire life)
- Transportation (horses in the back)
- Building materials (repairs, wood for stalls / fences)
- Gardening supplies (new projects)
- Documentary film project 100% filmed by Ellis and the club
Please stay tuned, and reach out for questions and community building!
Our instagram is brand new: @fletcherstreeturbanridingclub - we will be posting all things FSURC there.
Thank you for your generous support!
Ellis Ferrell and Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club
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