Diversity in racing: Aussie jockeys take pride in rainbow silks to support LGBTQI+ community

Horse Racing Pride week Western Australia diversity in racing
Rainbow silks: harness driver Chris Voak, jockey Craig Staples and retired greyhound Dusty Gunn. Photo: RWWA/Western Racepix

By Nicholas Godfrey

Australia: Western Australia’s racing industry is loud and proud this week to celebrate Pride month in the state – starting with all jockeys riding No.1 horses at Northam Race Club on Thursday [Nov 19] wearing specially designed rainbow silks.

All three codes – racing, trotting and greyhounds – are showing support for the LGBTQI+ community and encouraging diversity within the racing industry with various on-course activities over the next few days.

Next up after Thursday’s card at historic Northam, where they’ve been racing for more than 150 years in the picturesque Avon Valley, is harness racing at Gloucester Park in East Perth on Friday, followed on Saturday by Bunbury Trotting Club and greyhounds at Cannington.

Races have been renamed at all venues to highlight the week, with Pride-themed rugs awarded to the winning horse or greyhound and “other gestures of support”, according to Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA), the state’s governing body for the sport.

Prominent harness driver Chris Voak is nominated driver showing his support to the LGBTQI+ community by wearing Pride colours for his drives at Gloucester Park and Bunbury.

“This is an exciting industry for everybody to enjoy and be a part of and I’m looking forward to being able to showcase to the world that everyone is welcome in our industry,” he said.

Matthew Thomas, RWWA general manager (people and culture), commented: “It’s time that we let our community know that we are inviting and accepting of the LGBTQI community. It is fantastic to see the racing industry coming together in solidarity of and to exemplify inclusivity of the LGBTQI community.”

• Visit the RWWA website and the Northam Race Club website

Verry Elleegant: Arc challenge will be ‘mission critical’ for Caulfield Cup winner in 2021

Canada’s favourite horse: Woodbine wonder Pink Lloyd seeking 27th win

Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand to ride in Hong Kong International Jockeys’ Championship

France: Marie Velon equals Mickaelle Michel’s record mark with 72nd winner

World top 20 racehorses | World top jockeys and trainers

Visit the Horse Racing Planet home page for more great racing stuff