When children are born, their parent’s dream of them becoming the best version of themselves and excelling at their life’s dreams. Well, the parents of Zoie Brogdon must have dreamt big for their daughter…and somebody was apparently listening as Zoe has already achieved a lifetime’s worth of goals at the young age of 17.
Zoie’s hall-of-fame career began with her exploration and involvement in many activities and hobbies to expand her talent and creativity.
“I’ve always been kind of a kid to do everything and anything. I pride myself in being a jack of all trades, and at least when I was young, I would do whatever I was interested in at the time.” she said.
Zoie’s explorations led to her becoming interested in horseback riding at the age of 9, which showed not only herself but her parents what type of person she was going to be.
“I started horseback riding at a summer camp because my parents were looking for a camp as a lot of the camps around me were closing at the time because school was starting for some people but not for me, and my parents wanted to keep me busy until then,” she said in explaining how her mother found a camp near her job that first introduced her to horses and horseback riding.
She remembers being around the horses and her daily interaction with them would pique her interest and lead to her learning more about horseback riding and being an equestrian.
“No one in my family knew anything about riding horses, let alone that horse riding was a sport,” she said. What was envisioned as a one-time camp experience, turned into a passion recognized by others. “When my mother picked me up from camp on the first day, the riding instructor told her, ‘This is Zoie’s thing.’ “Not knowing the curiosity and immense joy I had that first day, my mother replied, ‘What thing?’ My equestrian journey began.”
Brogdon learned everything about being an equestrian at Compton Jr. Posse Youth Equestrian Program (CJP) Brogdon learned to groom, muck stalls, clean tack, and work as a team. She often rode bareback with different horses every week as a requirement as they get a feel for all the horses in the stable. It didn’t take long for Brogdon to make her presence known in the equestrian world.
After training and learning to be an equestrian for a few years, Brogdon started to compete in competitions and found immediate success. In 2019, Brogdon competed in 26 competitions and placed in the top 3 in 21 of those. Two years later, Brogdon’s training led to her being ranked number one in her zone and second nationally for 2021. The accolades and medals started coming in…and so did a newly found spotlight.
Brogdon’s success on the field translated to off-field success as she was featured in Sports Illustrated and did a documentary with GoPro as a joint venture with Sports Illustrated called “The Horse Girl.”
“It was like a blend of my passions of art and equestrian coming together, which was an amazing experience. I was able to make an impact with one of my passions, which is something I always hoped for.” Brogdon said.
“I felt like I started to make an impact with my equestrian and make waves in the sport by prompting more diversity and shedding light that this sport is truly for everybody,” Brogdon said. The video was made to prompt diversity in a White-dominated sport. The mini-documentary can be viewed at: https://tinyurl.com/3w7s3w3t.
The spotlight didn’t stop there as Brogdon was in not one but two of Beyonce’s music videos for tracks “Daddy Lessons,” and she appeared in the opening sequence of the 94th Academy Awards in recognition of Beyonce’s Oscar-nominated song, “Be Alive.” Her appearance in these videos happened because of her success and connection to the Compton Cowboys.
“It was a great experience working on the set and seeing how films are made, and of course, it was a shell-shocking moment to see and work with Beyonce. I was an equestrian for the Compton Cowboys, and when I received the invite, I thought it was a Compton Cowboys event,” Brogdon said, explaining how she got an appearance in the music video.
Brogdon also credits part of her success as an equestrian and being able to work with Beyonce to the Compton Cowboys. “They have made a world of difference in my life, and I wouldn’t be here without their love and support. I’m not sure I would be riding without their support, and I have made lifelong friends and mentors through them, which I will forever be grateful to them.”
Another one of Brogdon’s passions that she has excelled at is as a painter, which has prompted her to hold her first solo exhibit showing off her pieces portraying the feeling and emotions of a Black girl in isolation.
“I was the most nervous I have been in a long time, and I was hesitant to do it at first because I never showcase my art,” Brogdon said.
Brogdon is a young talent, and her support group is helping her hone in on her creative talent and strong will to achieve greatness. Learn more about Brogdon at https://tinyurl.com/njpbtwx9.