International Women's Day: Female-only race meeting for flat and jump jockeys at Southwell

Female jockeys set to ride at Southwell racecourse on 8 March
Trainer Gay Kelleway (centre) with jockeys (left to right) Rhona Pindar, Josephine Gordon, Ella McCain, Gemma Tutty, Nicola Currie and Hayley Turner, and Southwell officials Tricia Drabble and Amanda Boby

A unique all-female race meeting for flat and jump jockeys will be staged at Southwell on International Women's Day.

The eight-race fixture, split between the two racing codes, is to be held at the Nottinghamshire track on 8 March.

It is thought to be the first course in Britain to host a mixed racecard restricted solely to female riders.

"We are getting more and more recognition so this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase women in racing," said rider Hayley Turner.

Organisers hope that the meeting will be staffed mainly by women, including female British Horseracing Authority (BHA) officials and racecourse executives.

There will also be a workshop ahead of racing to look at issues faced by working mothers in the racing industry.

"We ride against and at the same level as men so don't think of ourselves as female jockeys, but this is a great way to celebrate the talented women in our sport," added Turner.

Run by Arena Racing in conjunction with the sport's Diversity in Racing Steering Group, the BHA, Women in Racing and Great British Racing, the Southwell fixture will feature four flat and four jump races to celebrate a record-breaking year for women.

Bryony Frost become the first-ever female jockey to win a Grade One race over fences at the Cheltenham Festival, while Rachael Blackmore was runner-up in the Irish jump jockeys' championship.

On the flat, Hollie Doyle broke the record for most wins achieved in a calendar year by a woman while Turner was the first female rider to win at Royal Ascot in 32 years.

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