Races won by women up 76% in five years as 'Just Jockeys' campaign launched

Hayley Turner. Bryony Frost and Hollie Doyle
Jockeys Hayley Turner, Bryony Frost and Hollie Doyle all achieved racing landmarks last year
Cheltenham Festival 2020
Dates: 10-13 March, Cheltenham Racecourse Races: 13:30-17:30 GMT, big race 15:30
Coverage: Commentaries: BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, feature races 5 live. Racecards, live text, results, reports: BBC Sport website/app

Wins by female riders in British racing increased by 76% between 2015 and 2019, new figures have revealed.

There were more than 800 victories for women last year, compared with 455 in 2015.

The statistics were released alongside a new campaign entitled #JustJockeys which aims to showcase the talents of female riders.

"We compete against men every day and we're equals on and off the track," said jockey Hollie Doyle.

Doyle set a new landmark in 2019 for victories for a woman in a calendar year with 116, while Hayley Turner was the first winning female rider at Royal Ascot for 32 years.

Bryony Frost made history at the Cheltenham Festival with a Grade One win over fences on Frodon in the Ryanair Chase, and there were other top-level successes for Rachael Blackmore and Lizzie Kelly.

And Khadijah Mellah broke new ground as the first hijab-wearing jockey to ride in, and win, a race in Britain when claiming the Magnolia Cup at Glorious Goodwood on Haverland.

What the stats say

  • From 2015-2019 there was a 76% increase of winners achieved by women across jump and Flat racing.
  • Flat racing: Up by 79% from 316 to 567 winners.
  • Jump racing: A rise of 68%, with a total of 234 victories last year, compared with 139 in 2015.
Jockeys Hollie Doyle, Lizzie Kelly and Nicola Currie
Hollie Doyle, Lizzie Kelly and Nicola Currie feature in a new 'Just Jockeys' video produced by Great British Racing,

Horse racing is a rare sport in that women regularly compete against men at the top level on an equal footing.

The campaign, which features female and male riders including champion Flat jockey Oisin Murphy, is aimed at showing there is no need to differentiate between the exploits of male and female jockeys - they should all be referred to simply as "jockeys".

"There have been a lot more women competing in the sport professionally in recent years," added Doyle.

"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."

Murphy said he thought it was "fantastic" to see the increasing success for women.

"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," he said.

On Sunday, a unique all-female race meeting for Flat and jump jockeys will be staged at Southwell on International Women's Day.

Graph showing the number of female winners

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