Female jockeys

Orangehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2005
Messages
11,567
Sad to hear of a serious accident to Lorna Brooke yesterday at Taunton, taken off in the air ambulance. Haven't heard any updates yet. She is an experienced jockey with quite a few wins.

Marcus Armitage wrote an article in the Telegraph not long ago, really as a result of Rachel Blackmore's success, but he also noted what a long road it has been. Worse was the list of seriously injured and even killed female jockeys, I hadn't realised that there have been so many.

I know other jockeys occasionally get killed and seriously injured, but when you think of the % of women, the statistics don't look very good.

I was musing to myself whether there are more women riding as trainers are more willing to put them up do to improvements in safety equipment. There are male trainers who aren't necessarily "sexist" about not having women riding in races (after all there are enough female stable staff who ride the horses every day) - but actually from an old fashioned concern for their safety.
 

Clodagh

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2005
Messages
18,149
Location
Essex
Well if the women choose the hard road it isn’t chivalry to stop them, but plain sexism.
In MAs column he said a lot of it was because the women were riding a higher proportion of bad horses as they couldn’t get rides on the good ones.
Trainers will always put up the jockey who will get them the best result, or at least the result they want. Imo.
 

Wishfilly

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 March 2016
Messages
1,356
I think to be willing to make it as a female jockey, you have to take rides on whatever comes your way, and that may increase your risks.

The risks of injury and death to any jockey are quite high compared to other careers- but they are adults and choose their career knowing the risks. All of the pro-eventers I can think of who have recently had serious/life changing injuries are men. Should we stop men from being eventers?

It's obviously sexism to say that female jockeys shouldn't race because of the risks.

I'm not sure if you have actual stats on the % of male and female jockeys who get injured, but I would guess that when female jockeys get injured it's more newsworthy?

Thinking of Lorna Brooke, and wishing her a speedy recovery, though.
 

Orangehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2005
Messages
11,567
No I haven't got statistics, it was only the newspaper article. I was shocked. Considering the numbers involved it seems to be more risky for female jockeys than male jockeys.
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
36,899
No I haven't got statistics, it was only the newspaper article. I was shocked. Considering the numbers involved it seems to be more risky for female jockeys than male jockeys.
I don't think it is, I think they just get given bad horses to ride to try and get a foot in a very male orientated game.

4* eventing isn't more dangerous for women than men, there's no reason why racing should be.
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
36,899
Most jockeys starting out get the dodgy rides.

But it's a numbers game. What proportion of female jockeys are riding lower ability horses and what proportion of male jockeys are? Until the two are equal, then more women will get hurt.

I find it crazy, given how many women event at international level, to suggest that females riding race horses are more at risk because of their sex.
 
Last edited:

Orangehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2005
Messages
11,567
An event rider is riding their own horse they have trained and know well.

I'm not saying that women shouldn't be jockeys, just that it appears to be more dangerous for them.
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
36,899
An event rider is riding their own horse they have trained and know well.

I'm not saying that women shouldn't be jockeys, just that it appears to be more dangerous for them.
I'd want to see the analysis of ability of horses being ridden and class of races being ridden in before I could believe that.

It sounds to me like the arguments that were/are put up to stop women flying fighter jets or driving formula 1 to me.
 

DabDab

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 May 2013
Messages
10,777
No I haven't got statistics, it was only the newspaper article. I was shocked. Considering the numbers involved it seems to be more risky for female jockeys than male jockeys.
The newspaper article must have quoted statistics to back up the statement?

I suppose if trainers were truly in the business of concern over jockey safety then they wouldn't be offering rides to anyone.
 

Orangehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2005
Messages
11,567
The newspaper article must have quoted statistics to back up the statement?

I suppose if trainers were truly in the business of concern over jockey safety then they wouldn't be offering rides to anyone.
No it didn't offer any statistics, it was a list of people killed and badly injured since female jockeys started out.
And it was written by Marcus Armitage, whose sister Gaye was famously one of the first female jockeys. He didn't make any comments.
 

Rowreach

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 May 2007
Messages
12,769
Location
Northern Ireland
But it's a numbers game. What proportion of female jockeys are riding lower ability horses and what proportion of make jockeys are? Until the two are equal, then more women will get hurt.

I find it crazy, given how many women event at international level, to suggest that females riding race horses are more at risk because of their sex.
Im a big supporter of female jockeys but from my days point to pointing and working in racing it is a fact that not many women can physically withstand the huge requirements of professional race riding and, more importantly, falls.

I think I was the first lot of p2p jockeys that were required to take part in training (which included falling) with the great Stan Mellor. I won a prize that year for being the best female faller offer because I could tuck and roll and not go splat.

Younger jockeys get the crap rides. Statistically it follows that fewer of those fewer women will be tough enough to overcome that.

Which makes the success of the current crop of women even more remarkable and shows that they are actually top top jockeys whatever their gender.
 

bonny

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 September 2007
Messages
4,572
This is the argument that some men in racing having been using for years, I’m a bit surprised that a group of women on here are suggesting it’s right just after a woman has won the Grand National. If you really want to go down that path then a better comparison between the sexes would be found in point to pointing where the numbers of men and women jockeys would be much more equal.
 

DabDab

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 May 2013
Messages
10,777
No it didn't offer any statistics, it was a list of people killed and badly injured since female jockeys started out.
And it was written by Marcus Armitage, whose sister Gaye was famously one of the first female jockeys. He didn't make any comments.
So it wasn't an article, just a list of injured/killed female jockeys?
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
36,899
Im a big supporter of female jockeys but from my days point to pointing and working in racing it is a fact that not many women can physically withstand the huge requirements of professional race riding and, more importantly, falls.

Younger jockeys get the crap rides. Statistically it follows that fewer of those fewer women will be tough enough to overcome that.
But that isn't saying that a higher proportion of women get hurt than men.

I would completely accept the potential argument that more men are prepared (mad enough :) ) to break bones and get back on and race again.
 
Last edited:

Rowreach

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 May 2007
Messages
12,769
Location
Northern Ireland
But that isn't saying that a higher proportion of women get hurt than men.

I would completely accept the potential argument that more men are prepared (mad enough :) ) to break bones and get back on and race again.
Well quite, I think many women have more sense.

But yes it is true that women jockeys tend to have worse fall outcomes than men because of the way they fall, but not I do t think that they have more falls as such.
 

DabDab

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 May 2013
Messages
10,777
Not uptight I don't think (just normal discussion?) ...you keep saying that you were shocked by the numbers but then say there were no statistics so the questions are just people trying to clarify what you are saying.

I'm pretty sure (from a conversation with a sports physio friend a while back), that stats show women are injured more often/suffer higher rates of certain injuries in all sports (caused by multiple factors eg more flexible joints, higher estrogen etc). 🤷 Such is life I guess

I don't think that has any bearing on the rides offered by trainers to female jockeys

Statistics also show, in jump racing at least, that women are marginally more successful than men at the top level. The differences between male and female jockeys is potentially a very interesting subject now there is starting to be enough females knocking around in the sport for it to be statistically significant.
 

Spirit2021

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 April 2021
Messages
179
I don’t usually comment on things like this but I find it kind of funny once a first woman has won a big race than you see the thread like this. I actually think a lot of people want to keep it as man oriented sport and use safety as a excuse to try a stop women in success in this sport. To be truthful I think there a lot sexism in the horse world especially in professional side of it.
 

Frumpoon

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 May 2011
Messages
1,906
I don't know why everyone is getting so uptight. I was simply shocked to see the numbers, especially as there is a young lady in hospital right now with a bad injury.
Round our way there’s fairly often a young(ish) lady in hospital, it’s usually me and I can tell you now, nobody gives a flying floof 😂😂
 

mypegasus

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 January 2008
Messages
864
Location
North Wales
Having read the article, whilst yes it lists the female jockeys who were injured and ultimately paid a high price. There is no comparison or list of those male jockeys who have been injured or killed. So it’s difficult to compare - it is more an article that is personal opinion.

It would be interesting to do some statistical analysis but given the amount of data it would be an in depth study - would be intriguing though.
 

Elf On A Shelf

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 February 2011
Messages
12,332
There is a lot of sexism still in racing. Times are changing but slowly. Rachael has got the age of 30/31 before really smashing the big time. Probably picking up better rides from 25/26 onwards and working her way up the ladder having had her licence since 17yo. Most males are hitting up the big time in jump racing at 24/25. Flat racing even younger. Women have to work ten times as hard to prove their worth still.

It also doesn't help that in yards girls are looked down on. Aren't given difficult horses to ride because they are "lads rides" and are generally never expected to do more than pat the pretty ponies and ride in the odd ptp. What also doesn't help is that the girls let this slide and don't prove their worth because they don't feel worthy. We had one lass (thank god she has left! She drove everyone insane!) Who constantly complained about not getting rides, not getting opportunities etc because she wasn't male. In our yard that wasn't actually true. She just simply wasn't good enough and her gob spoke far louder than her riding so you were instantly put off of giving her any sort of chance because of her attitude.

Time are changing because of the like of Rachael Blackmore, Nina Carberry, Katie Walsh, Holly Doyle, Nicola Curry etc. They are good riders who are down to earth and get the job done. Bryony Frost is setting that campaign back. I know the public like her banging on about her special pegasus and her pet pony etc. But in racing we quite simply see that as annoying and childish. Something a 12yo would say who had just won their first jump off. Not a professional jockey.
 

tristar

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 August 2010
Messages
4,738
I don't know why everyone is getting so uptight. I was simply shocked to see the numbers, especially as there is a young lady in hospital right now with a bad injury.
well i am pretty fit, and not exactly weak, but, i spend most of my time around men, and am in awe of how strong they are, so not commenting on whether or not its a good idea for women to be jockeys, but there can be a serious difference

also an eventer is doing dressage on the same horses they ride regularly and not travelling at 100 mph hopefully!
 

Clodagh

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2005
Messages
18,149
Location
Essex
Women should on the whole have some advantages over men as jockeys. It is probably easier for a woman to maintain a body weight at or under 10 stone without dehydration or serious starving. The risks of concussion have been highlighted as being worse when dehydrated as your brain loses some of its natural water padding.
Yes men are stronger but I don't feel that is an issue when on a horse, it isn't like you pick them up and carry them.
 

Clodagh

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2005
Messages
18,149
Location
Essex
Time are changing because of the like of Rachael Blackmore, Nina Carberry, Katie Walsh, Holly Doyle, Nicola Curry etc. They are good riders who are down to earth and get the job done. Bryony Frost is setting that campaign back. I know the public like her banging on about her special pegasus and her pet pony etc. But in racing we quite simply see that as annoying and childish. Something a 12yo would say who had just won their first jump off. Not a professional jockey.
She is helping public perception though. The Ruby Walsh's of this world who never seemed to care remotely for the horse other than a means of transport to get him past the winning post used to be very negative to me. Off topic but he has improved immeasurably in retirement.
 

tristar

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 August 2010
Messages
4,738
There is a lot of sexism still in racing. Times are changing but slowly. Rachael has got the age of 30/31 before really smashing the big time. Probably picking up better rides from 25/26 onwards and working her way up the ladder having had her licence since 17yo. Most males are hitting up the big time in jump racing at 24/25. Flat racing even younger. Women have to work ten times as hard to prove their worth still.

It also doesn't help that in yards girls are looked down on. Aren't given difficult horses to ride because they are "lads rides" and are generally never expected to do more than pat the pretty ponies and ride in the odd ptp. What also doesn't help is that the girls let this slide and don't prove their worth because they don't feel worthy. We had one lass (thank god she has left! She drove everyone insane!) Who constantly complained about not getting rides, not getting opportunities etc because she wasn't male. In our yard that wasn't actually true. She just simply wasn't good enough and her gob spoke far louder than her riding so you were instantly put off of giving her any sort of chance because of her attitude.

Time are changing because of the like of Rachael Blackmore, Nina Carberry, Katie Walsh, Holly Doyle, Nicola Curry etc. They are good riders who are down to earth and get the job done. Bryony Frost is setting that campaign back. I know the public like her banging on about her special pegasus and her pet pony etc. But in racing we quite simply see that as annoying and childish. Something a 12yo would say who had just won their first jump off. Not a professional jockey.

it seems we live in a world where dreams count for nothing, and joy is a stranger, if its not professional, only time will tell as bryony`s story unfolds, and attitudes to multiple dead horses a meeting bring change, horrible realty at one end of the scale and joyous praise for the horse at the other
 
Top