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The singing equestrian

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Man in the saddle: Ki-Juan Minors who competes with the top equestrians in the business

Ki-Juan Minors doesn’t speak Spanish but it won’t stop him from taking over the stage at the Miss Ecuador contest next week.

The 33-year-old plans to sing, rather than talk, at the March 12 event in Machala. Cover songs of artists like Bruno Mars and Marc Anthony are on his agenda.

He believes it’s a “huge step in the right direction” as he works to further his career.

“It’s great exposure to be able to showcase my talent in another country,” the singer said.

“Any chance I have to take the mic is a great opportunity. I’m not sure of the numbers at this particular event, but I’m assuming it will be a large audience considering the winner from this will go on to compete in Miss Universe.” The beauty pageant is the latest opportunity the professional equestrian, who is based in Wellington, Florida, has had to showcase his voice.

In September he performed during the annual Central Park Horse Show in New York.

He’s found the right doors open when you work hard, hone your talent and network.

“While living here in Florida I’ve met so many influential people one of which is Juan Gando, the owner of many high-end restaurants in the Wellington area,” Mr Minors said. “Juan has been a huge supporter of my talents over the years. He introduced me to a colleague, Fernando Aguayo, owner of Fernando Cellars Vineyards, and allowed me to showcase my talent in front of him a while back. Fernando invited me to perform at his family’s business, the Miss Ecuador Pageant. Clearly I accepted the invitation and am scheduled to perform next month.”

Mr Minors comes from a musical family. His mother, Verneil Simons, was part of a group called Black Love, for many years. He and his sister, Verlencia Aberdeen, sang at music competitions and weddings together, and opened for Patti LaBelle in 2001.

“I’m very aware of how the music industry works and how quickly things change,” he said. “But I believe that if it’s meant to be it will be. If you don’t take any chances, your talents will be wasted and I don’t want any regrets.

“Since I’ve been performing in my spare time away from my career as an equestrian, many opportunities have been presented.

“Choosing the right door is always the trick. I’ve found that being a singer, most people tell me I need to meet the right people but I’ve found this isn’t always the case. People are just that — people. So I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and stay focused, most importantly stay humble with my gift and never give up.”

His philosophy when it comes to working towards a dream is simple: just do it.

“I know it sounds like I work for Nike, but it really is just that simple,” he said. “I’ve always known I wanted to be involved with horses my whole life — and look at me now. I left home, worked hard and now I’m involved in the largest horse show circuit in North America.

“I train and compete with the top equestrians in the business. So with that I’m going to do the same with my music.

“I’m fully aware that the music industry is a competitive field, but what field isn’t? I’m 33 years old and don’t have any plans on slowing down until I get to where I want to be.”

Man with the mic: Ki-Juan Minors
Bermudian Ki-Juan Minors will sing at the Miss Ecuador contest on March 12.(Photograph supplied)