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Are There Girl Jockeys?

Girl jockeys have been around for decades, but only recently have they become more visible and accepted in the world of horse racing. Historically, the racing industry has been dominated by male jockeys, but in recent years more and more female jockeys have been making their mark on the sport. This article will explore the history of female jockeys and the challenges they face in the industry, as well as discussing the potential for the future of women in racing.

History of Female Jockeys

The first documented female jockey was reported to have ridden in a race in Paris in 1690. However, it wasn’t until the late 1800s that females began to make a more significant presence on the racing scene. In 1894, Charlotte de Hochepied was the first woman to become a licensed jockey in the United States, and in 1895, she became the first woman to win a race in the United States.

The 1920s and 1930s saw a rise in the number of female jockeys competing in races, but it wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that female jockeys began to make a more significant impact on the sport. The first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race was Diane Crump in 1969, and the first female jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race was Julie Krone in 1993.

Challenges Faced by Female Jockeys

Despite the progress that has been made in recent years, female jockeys still face many challenges in the horse racing industry. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of recognition and support from the racing industry. Female jockeys are often overlooked and not given the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

In addition, female jockeys often face discrimination and sexism from other riders and trainers, as well as from the racing industry itself. Female jockeys are often seen as not being as capable as male jockeys, and are sometimes not taken seriously in the racing circles.

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The Future of Female Jockeys

Despite the challenges that female jockeys face, there is potential for growth in the industry. The number of female jockeys is increasing and more racetracks are beginning to recognize the talent and potential of female jockeys. In addition, there are more organizations and programs dedicated to supporting and promoting female jockeys.

Opportunities for Female Jockeys

More and more racetracks are beginning to offer opportunities for female jockeys, such as apprenticeship programs and mentorship programs. These programs provide female jockeys with the opportunity to learn the sport from experienced riders and trainers and to gain valuable experience in the industry.

In addition, there are more organizations and programs dedicated to supporting female jockeys. Organizations such as Girls On Track and the Women’s Jockey Association provide resources to female jockeys, including advice, education, and mentorship.

Advantages of Female Jockeys

Female jockeys have several advantages over male jockeys. Female jockeys tend to be lighter, which can give them an edge in certain races. In addition, female jockeys are often more patient and less aggressive than male jockeys, which can be beneficial in certain situations.

Successful Female Jockeys

There have been several successful female jockeys over the years, including:

  • Julie Krone: First female jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race
  • Diane Crump: First female jockey to win a Triple Crown race
  • Kirsty Milczarek: First female jockey to win the Grand National
  • Mary Roman: First female jockey to win the Kentucky Derby


Female jockeys have made significant progress in recent years, but there is still much work to be done in order to achieve gender parity in the racing industry. More opportunities need to be created for female jockeys and the racing industry needs to become more accepting of female jockeys. With more support and recognition, female jockeys can continue to make a positive impact on the sport of horse racing.


  • https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/women-jockeys/
  • https://www.thesportster.com/horse-racing/10-greatest-female-jockeys-of-all-time/
  • https://www.history.com/topics/women-in-history/female-jockeys
  • https://www.britannica.com/sports/jockey/Female-jockeys

Further Reading

  • https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/feb/01/female-jockeys-unprecedented-success-horse-racing
  • https://www.therail.com/horse-racing/female-jockeys-proving-they-can-compete-with-the-best/
  • https://www.drf.com/news/female-jockeys-making-mark-horse-racing
  • https://horseracingnation.com/blogs/Racing_Across_America/Female_Jockeys_A_History_of_Success_and_Opportunity_in_Horse_Racing