All-female Southwell meeting for International Women’s Day

Southwell will stage an all-female race meeting to mark International Women’s Day on March 8.

The Sunday card, which also celebrates a record-breaking year for women in racing, will feature a mixed programme of four Flat and four jump races, all restricted to women riders.

The fixture will be run in conjunction with the sport’s Diversity in Racing Steering Group, the British Horseracing Authority, Women in Racing and Great British Racing.

Last year saw Bryony Frost become the first female jockey to win a Grade One race over obstacles during the Cheltenham Festival and Flat jockey Hollie Doyle break the record for most wins achieved in a calendar year by a female jockey, while Hayley Turner became the first female rider to win at Royal Ascot in 32 years.

Turner, who grew up close to Southwell racecourse, said: “It’s great that Southwell are celebrating International Women’s Day with an all-female racecard.

“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.

“We are getting more and more recognition so this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase women in racing. I am from Southwell and went to school at Southwell Minster so it’s great to have a day’s racing like this close to home”

Tallulah Lewis, chair of Women in Racing, said: “Women in Racing was founded to support women across the sport, including female jockeys.

“Southwell’s all-women racecard, with the majority of raceday officials female also, provides a great opportunity to showcase female jockey talent and we’re delighted to work with all parties to help make this happen.

“We will continue our work to showcase the incredible female talent we have across the sport and help ensure that racing can benefit from this in the years ahead.”

Rose Grissell, BHA head of diversity and inclusion, said, “International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements and talents of women across the world, as well as to raise awareness of some of the unique challenges and inequalities they face.

“There is no better way to celebrate the day than by providing further opportunities for female jockeys and showcasing their abilities through this fixture.

“Racing should be proud of the progress it has made. However, there is more to be done to ensure that they get the same opportunities as their male counterparts.”

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