GB: #JustJockeys flaunting female flair for International Women’s Day

Horse Racing Hollie Doyle jockey
Power: Hollie Doyle as part of the #JustJockeys campaign. Photo: Great British Racing

GB: To mark International Women’s Day on Sunday March 8, Great British Racing has launched its #JustJockeys campaign, celebrating the talents of women in a sport where they can compete on an equal footing to their counterparts.

The campaign showcases how 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 jockeys from the worlds of both Flat and jump racing including reigning champion Oisin Murphy, record-breaking female Hollie Doyle and G1-winning jump jockey Lizzie Kelly.

The campaign coincides with data released on Wednesday showing that over the past five years women in British horse racing have continued to excel. 

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From 2015-2019 there has been a 76% increase of winners achieved by women across both codes, 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.

Female winners graphic from GBR

Speaking about the campaign, 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 horse racing and for setting examples for other sports that this is recognised, and we are referred to as jockeys rather than ‘female’ jockeys.

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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.”

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy added: “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.

Horse Racing Lizzie Kelly jockey
Passion: Jump jockey Lizzie Kelly as part of the #JustJockeys campaign.
Photo: Great British Racing

“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.”

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Women in Racing chair Tallulah Lewis 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.”

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