NEWSInsider HORSES IN THE NEWS Here come the girls: ladies ‘as good as men’ New research shows that female jockeys are just as good as their male counterparts, although they get fewer rides SMAD PLACE The 2015 Hennessy Gold Cup winner has been retired aged 11 due to injury. The Alan King-trained grey gelding won nine of his 37 races and earned almost £500,000 in prize money, gaining his final victory in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last October. BILLY LIFFY The four-star eventer produced by Britain’s Olivia Craddock has joined Sam Griffiths’ string. “It’s an exciting time for me and his new owners, Claudia and Jonathan Rothermere,” said the Australian rider. MARCEL The first colt by the Grade One-winning two-year-old has been born at Martin Walsh’s Kiltown Stud. Marcel, now five, was one of the top three European colts of his generation. His owner Paul Makin bred the bay out of Visalia, the daughter of Virginia Waters. WATCH out boys — research has found that female jockeys are just as good as their male rivals. While the study’s finding is not a surprise to many, there are hopes this evidence will help open up more opportunities for women. Vanessa Cashmore analysed 14 years of data while studying for her masters in thoroughbred horseracing industries at the University of Liverpool. She found that when horse quality is considered, women riders were “every bit as good” as men. Only 11.3% of professional jockey licences are held by women, who took just 5.2% of available rides during those 14 years. But women make up 51% of the sport’s stable staff workforce, up from 42% since 2010. Women also make up 24% of all jockeys holding a licence — the same percentage as 10 years ago. Leading Flat jockey Hollie Doyle told H&H the research is useful proof that women can get “just as much” out of a horse. “It isn’t just about power and strength — obviously that’s an advantage men have — but you have to be tactically switched on and a good horseman,” said Hollie, who has ridden more than 100 winners. “In racing, regardless of gender, it’s really hard to get going and to get rides and winners; it takes a lot of hard work.” Hollie said she has never felt at a disadvantage as she is a woman. “If you’re in fashion; riding By LUCY ELDER winners and riding well, whoever you are you’ll do well,” she said. British Horseracing Authority (BHA) chief executive Nick Rust added the organisation is “determined to address” why women get fewer rides than men, particularly in high-profile races. “We are proud British racing is one of the few sports where men and women can compete on equal terms,” he said. “But if female jockeys are not being given the same opportunities as men, this cannot be considered equality.” He added the BHA is looking at “any short- and long-term steps that must be taken to improve equal opportunities”. Day change for Nations Cup BRITAIN’S Nations Cup leg at Hickstead’s Royal International Horse Show is to move from its usual Friday to the show’s final day (Sunday). The move to a weekend day is part of the FEI’s efforts to keep the series as “the best possible product”; of all the CSI5* Nations Cup competitions, only Dublin’s Aga Khan trophy will retain its original slot on the Friday. The rejigging of the schedule for Hickstead’s five-star event Gemma Tutty has ridden nearly 50 winners (25-29 July) comes as the show also takes on a new name, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain at the BHS Royal International Horse Show. The show said the move reflects “the importance of this showcase class and the long-term relationship with series title partner Longines”. “The Hickstead leg gives showjumping fans their only opportunity to watch the Brits compete as a team on home turf, Apprentice Gemma Tutty, who has ridden nearly 50 winners and is balancing riding with studying for a degree in psychology and counselling, told H&H she was interested horse quality was taken into account. She wants trainers to remain free to choose who they want, without rules or penalties, but hopes widespread opinions can move to regard male and female jockeys on a level. “I have seen a lot of girls retire through lack of opportunities when there will be a lad riding to the same standard and he has had opportunities,” said Gemma. “Not all lads get opportunities either, but the fact some trainers won’t use girls puts us at a disadvantage, even if some trainers use them all the time.” and we hope the move from Friday to Sunday will give even more people the chance to cheer on their home nation,” said Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn. The King George V Gold Cup will now take place on the Friday. After a year of competing in division two, the Brits are back in the top Nations Cup league and will be campaigning to retain their place and qualify for the final in Barcelona in October. SR ● Comment, p59 Pictures by RacingFotos.com, Peter Nixon and PA Wire/PA Images 6 Horse & Hound 8 February 2018
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