The concept of a female jockey is relatively new, but it is gaining in popularity. Female jockeys have been competing in professional horse racing since the late 19th century and have seen great success. The history of female jockeys is fascinating and inspiring, and there are many stories to be told. This article will explore the history of female jockeys, their current status in the industry, and the challenges they face.
A Brief History of Female Jockeys
The first documented female jockey was a British woman named Mabel Jolly, who rode in the 1868 Epsom Derby. While she did not win the race, she showed that women could compete on the same level as men. Since then, female jockeys have made their presence known in the racing world, winning races and gaining recognition for their accomplishments.
In the early 20th century, female jockeys began to gain more prominence. In 1908, Alice Huyler Ramsey became the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby. The following year, Charlotte Brew became the first female jockey to win a race at the Grand National.
In the 1950s, the first female jockey to gain widespread recognition was Diane Crump, who was the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby in 1969. She was also the first female jockey to ride in the Preakness Stakes in 1970.
Current Status of Female Jockeys
Today, female jockeys are a regular presence in the horse racing world. In the United States, the Jockey Club estimates that about 10% of jockeys are women. Female jockeys have had notable success in recent years, with female riders winning the Kentucky Derby in 2019 and 2020.
In the United Kingdom, female jockeys have had even greater success, with the number of female jockeys rising from 3.5% in 2010 to 12.5% in 2018. Female jockeys have also had success in other countries, such as Australia and France, where they have won major races.
Challenges Faced by Female Jockeys
Despite the success of female jockeys, there are still many challenges they face. One major issue is the gender wage gap. Male jockeys typically earn more than their female counterparts, even when they have similar levels of experience and success.
There is also a lack of support for female jockeys. Many female jockeys do not have access to the same resources and training opportunities as male jockeys, and this can make it difficult for them to compete at the highest level.
Notable Female Jockeys
There are many female jockeys who have achieved great success in the sport. Here are some of the most notable:
- Katelyn Mallyon: Mallyon is an Australian jockey who became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup in 2015. She is also the first female jockey to win a Group 1 race in Australia.
- Serena Brotherton: Brotherton is a British jockey who became the first female jockey to win the prestigious St Leger race in 2012. She has also won many other major races in the United Kingdom.
- Rosie Napravnik: Napravnik is an American jockey who became the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks in 2012. She is also the first female jockey to win the Preakness Stakes in 2013.
Opportunities for Female Jockeys
There are many opportunities for female jockeys in the horse racing industry. More and more tracks are introducing female-only races, which provides a great opportunity for female jockeys to showcase their skills and gain recognition.
In addition, female jockeys are now eligible for many of the same awards and prizes as their male counterparts. For example, in 2019, the Jockey Club introduced the “Rider of the Year” award, which is open to both male and female jockeys.
In conclusion, female jockeys have come a long way in the horse racing industry. They have achieved great success and have broken many barriers, but there is still work to be done. Female jockeys still face discrimination and unequal pay, and there is a lack of support for them. However, with more opportunities for female jockeys, this could change in the future.
- Gardner, J. (2016, June 8). The History of Female Jockeys. Horse Racing Nation. Retrieved from: https://www.horseracingnation.com/news/The_History_of_Female_Jockeys
- Fury, M. (2020, October 16). A Brief History of Female Jockeys. The Jockey Club. Retrieved from: https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/news/a-brief-history-of-female-jockeys/
- Kerr, A. (2019, April 2). The Rise of Female Jockeys. Horse Racing Nation. Retrieved from: https://www.horseracingnation.com/news/The_Rise_of_Female_Jockeys
- Stout, J. (2019, May 1). Jockey Club Introduces Rider of the Year Award. The Jockey Club. Retrieved from: https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/news/jockey-club-introduces-rider-of-the-year-award/
About the Author
My name is ____ and I am an avid horse racing fan. I have been following the sport for many years and love to write about the history of horse racing and the people who have made it what it is today.