After an impressive 2019 for female riders, Southwell will launch a milestone all-female race-meeting to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March this year.
The meeting will feature a racecard that includes only female jockeys in a much-anticipated move by race organisers following a year of landmark moments for women in the sport.
2019 saw huge moments for female jockeys as Bryony Frost became the first woman to win a Grade One jump over fences at Cheltenham Festival. On the flat 23-year-old Hollie Doyle broke the record for the number of wins in a year for a female jockey securing 107 during the season.
Southwell’s Sunday meeting held in partnership with Diversity in Racing Steering Group, the British Horseracing Authority, Women in Racing and Great British Racing will hold four flat races and four jump races all celebrating the increasing opportunities for women in racing.
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Hayley Turner, the first female rider to win at Royal Ascot in 32 years, will be taking part in the event and believes this is an important opportunity to shine a spotlight on female riders. However, the 37-year-old was keen to emphasise that female jockeys ride at the same level as their male counterparts and need more recognition.
“We ride against and at the same level as men so do not think of ourselves as female jockeys, but this is a great way to celebrate talented women in our sport.
“We are getting more and more recognition so this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase women in racing. I am from Southwell so it is great to have a day’s racing like this close to home,” Turner said.
The move from Southwell to hold this mixed racecard restricted to just female riders is believed to be the first of its kind and organisers hope to see a largely female team of race officials and executives.News Now - Sport News