She was the iconic image that went viral as she rode her horse through the streets of Oakland during the recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations; now activist Brianna Noble stars in a new film that hopes to inspire Americans to vote in the upcoming US election.
The campaign, Ride Out to Vote, brings together other Californian equestrians of colour with a theme that nods to the legendary Pony Express – the state-based mail service that used relays of horse-mounted riders during the 1800s to carry mail all the way to Missouri.
Directed and edited by Yoram Savion, the film builds on Brianna's social activism arm of her Mulatto Meadows venture – Humble and Heels Down Fists Up – where she aims to inspire positive change "from the saddle".
"In the midst of a global pandemic, Americans are risking their health, braving long lines, and combating voter suppression to exercise their right to vote," says Creative Producer Kyla Searle. "Ride Out to Vote honours that effort; it uplifts voting as an epic act. It says: this moment is urgent, your vote is critical and we are riding with you."
Those featured in the film include polo player Dale Johnson, para-equestrian Andie Sue Roth, Humble volunteer Elizabeth Rice, and cowboy Brandyn Hartfield. Featured community members include retired cowboy Albert 'Randy' Harris who starred in Larry Clarke's Cutting Horse, dancer Johnny Lopez of Turf Inc., Samar Hmeidan of equestrian sportswear company Ariat International, and Richard Humphrey, acclaimed roller dancer and classic car owner.
Each rider carries ballots through ranches, grasslands, and mountains, across San Francisco to the Pacific Ocean, and landing in Oakland where a saddlebag full of ballots is dropped off at the courthouse. Says Brianna Noble, "Using the inspiration of the Pony Express really allows us to convey a sense of urgency to our audience to get out and vote. We wanted to show the diversity of our community in a fun uplifting manner."
This week, Brianna and various equestrians carried out a 'Ride Out to Vote' around Oakland's Lake Merritt to the Alameda County Courthouse to drop off mail-in-ballots. The wider community was encouraged to "ride" along on bikes, skateboards, roller skates or scooters. Discover more about the campaign at heelsdownfistsup.com.
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