To celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March, Great British Racing has launched its #JustJockeyscampaign, showcasing the incredible talents of women in the sport, where they compete on an equal footing to men.
The campaign showcases the fact that all jockeys have to share the same attributes in order to be successful and that there is no need to differentiate between the exploits of male and female jockeys – they should all be referred to simply as “jockeys”. The campaign video features Jump and Flat jockeys including the likes of record holder Hollie Doyle, 2019 Champion Flat Jockey Oisin Murphy, first woman to ride in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) Currie and Grade-1 winning jockey Lizzie Kelly.
he campaign coincides with data released today which shows that over the past five years women in horseracing have continued to excel in one of the few sports in which men and women compete as equals. From 2015-2019 there has been a 76% increase of winners achieved by women across Jump and Flat racing, with a 79% rise from 316 to 567 winners on the Flat during the period and a 68% rise in Jump racing, from 139 winners in 2015 to 234 winners achieved by women last year.
As well as a significant increase in the number of winners, there has been a 26% rise in women holding a professional (rather than amateur) jockey license since 2015, indicating more opportunities existing in the sport.
Speaking about the campaign, Flat jockey Hollie Doyle who, in 2019, broke the record for the most wins by a woman in a calendar year (116) said: “We compete against men every day and we’re equals on and off the track. It is important for horseracing and for setting examples for other sports that this is recognised, and we are referred to as jockeys rather than ‘female’ jockeys.
The 23-year old added: “#JustJockeys recognises that all jockeys have the same skills and are equally as driven. There have been a lot more women competing in the sport professionally in recent years and I think that the wider industry has realised that, if given the opportunity, women are just as good as men and our gender should not come into the equation.”
2019 Champion Flat Jockey Oisin Murphy said: “Jockeys work incredibly hard both in the training and on the racetrack. Women are playing an increasingly more important role both as jockeys and as part of the wider industry and it fantastic to see their success grow year on year.”
Murphy continued: “Personally, I don’t feel there is any gender divide between female and males, and I feel that females in racing will continue to grow and thrive in our sport.”
Tallulah Lewis, Women in Racing Chair said “#JustJockeys is a great initiative to showcase the talented and diverse range of jockeys we are all lucky enough to see riding almost every day and Women in Racing is delighted to support this campaign.”
2019 saw a number of success stories for women in horseracing including Jump jockey, Bryony Frost, who became the first woman to win a Grade 1 race during the Cheltenham Festival; Flat jockey Hayley Turner who was the first woman to win at Royal Ascot in 32 years and Khadijah Mellah who made history when she became the first British Muslim woman to win a race when landing the Magnolia Cup Charity race at Goodwood.
While we celebrate the success stories for women in racing, which are positively and undoubtedly on the rise, British racing has acknowledged that there is more to do to improve equality of opportunities for all jockeys. The sport’s Diversity in Racing Steering Group is carrying out research into every stage of a jockey’s career to explore how to further increase female participation and improving female facilities on racecourses as part of its current core objectives.
For more information please visit, www.greatbritishracing.com/justjockeys