Female jockeys

RachelFerd

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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.
And that's why the racing industry is stuffed - because those that work in it can't seem to see that BF's public persona is a huge boost for the sport's image. That stoic, stiff up lip thing 'horses are livestock' attitude does not land well in modern Britain - like it or not.

As for making statistical judgements on the fragility of women - there's no point doing this on the back of a fag packet. To understand if injury rates really are higher/more serious you'd need to work through the quality of horses they were riding, their previous history for URs or falling and also consider the comparative fitness element of the number of rides that the jockey is regularly getting.

Total credit to RB though - I have a huge amount of admiration for what she has achieved and think she's done it all in a very classy way.
 

Wishfilly

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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 don't think that's true of all event riders at all- many don't own their horses. There are many pro eventers who ride sales horses as part of their business, maybe not at the highest level but at levels where serious injury can still occur. Obviously it is a different relationship between the person and the horse, and a different sport.

And we're getting "uptight" because you are being sexist.

FWIW, I reckon the female jockeys who go into it are the ones who are tough enough to stick it out. I think to be a female jockey you still have to really want it- not that male jockeys don't, but I reckon female jockeys face more people saying they can't do it, or that a female rider isn't as good etc etc. So perhaps they are willing to take more risks than some of the men, or less likely to give up when the going gets tough.

But without % statistics, a list of injuries to female jockeys is meaningless. I'm sure a similarly shocking one could be produced for male jockeys or male professional riders in general.
 

Wishfilly

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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.
Logically, this makes sense, but if it were true, we'd see more female jockeys in flat racing surely?
 

Chianti

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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.
I remember watching an interview with Ruby Walsh when Kauto Star hadn't won a Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was obviously very pissed off with the horse. This was despite Kauto having won it at least once before ( can't remember the year) and a few King George's with him. The horse had tried his heart out but just wasn't good enough on the day. I think that's when I began to go off racing.
 

TPO

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No experience of racing but I'd guess it's like other male dominated industries where female have to work 10x as hard for half the credit.

If what Elf has said is true, and is presume that it is in the majority of yards, then it takes a female approx twice as long as a male to be "given a chance" with good horses.

So if males have proven themselves from 16/17 then the good ones "hit the big time" approx 24/25. Meanwhile it can probably be assumed that RB showed promise/prove herself in that same timeframe but it took until 25/26 to be given good horses and 30/31 to hit the big time.

So roughly speaking using these ages as ball parks a female jockey will have a lot more years of wear and tear. Plus a male jockey could father 50 kids during his 20s and never miss a day of work but the same cant be said for females.

I am definitely not saying that all females want to have children but prime having children age is also prime proving yourself 10x more than a Male time too. So you can see why many arent able to consistently do what is required throughout their late teens and all of their 20s/early 30s.

If women were treated as equals from the start I bet youd see a lot more successful ones on the courses
 

RachelFerd

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Not at the top of the sport, though?
I suspect that the lack of females at the top of the sport has a lot to do with the views of major non-UK based owners on whether women can ride (or indeed drive cars etc. etc.)

Although Hollie Doyle was right up there in flat jockey rankings last year - 4th - so progress is happening on that side too.
 

Rowreach

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No experience of racing but I'd guess it's like other male dominated industries where female have to work 10x as hard for half the credit.

If what Elf has said is true, and is presume that it is in the majority of yards, then it takes a female approx twice as long as a male to be "given a chance" with good horses.

So if males have proven themselves from 16/17 then the good ones "hit the big time" approx 24/25. Meanwhile it can probably be assumed that RB showed promise/prove herself in that same timeframe but it took until 25/26 to be given good horses and 30/31 to hit the big time.

So roughly speaking using these ages as ball parks a female jockey will have a lot more years of wear and tear. Plus a male jockey could father 50 kids during his 20s and never miss a day of work but the same cant be said for females.

I am definitely not saying that all females want to have children but prime having children age is also prime proving yourself 10x more than a Male time too. So you can see why many arent able to consistently do what is required throughout their late teens and all of their 20s/early 30s.

If women were treated as equals from the start I bet youd see a lot more successful ones on the courses
Interesting article from Ruby here, which addresses some of this.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/opini...o0sZc5_OKfcssglOgCtGsnJRlGuvMwvqxs2XiPc13SslU
 

Parrotperson

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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.
Agreed. Ruby Walsh was very unlikeable when he was riding. But is much better in retirement. I have no problem with Bryony she just wears her heart on her sleeve which isn't v British which is why she gets stick for it. And here's the thing, criticising her for her attitude is just as sexist (because you're essentially saying she ought to be more male is her attitude!).

I have to say AP has gone the other way. Liked him much more when he was riding. He hardly ever has anything nice to say about any jockey now and is positively nasty about the females, only grudgingly praising Rachel and he is downright nasty about Bryony. He is v obviously of the option it isn't a "girls" sport. It's practically branded on his forehead!

Anyway good luck to them all.
 

Parrotperson

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well you see where he is saying exactly what owe shouldn't. That because she's female he didn't think shed be strong enough and he's surprised she is! For heaven sake!!!! What is it with men? Ok I know what it is. Thousands of years of being 'better' than us, whilst we had to give birth and raise the kids. Except of course none of that was ever the truth. there is evidence that women played just a much a part of feeding the tribe (for want of a better term) thousands of years ago as the men.

When oh when will they stop looking down on us. Drives me crazy. I think a hundred years ago I would've been a suffragette!! And proud of it.
 

Rowreach

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well you see where he is saying exactly what owe shouldn't. That because she's female he didn't think shed be strong enough and he's surprised she is! For heaven sake!!!! What is it with men? Ok I know what it is. Thousands of years of being 'better' than us, whilst we had to give birth and raise the kids. Except of course none of that was ever the truth. there is evidence that women played just a much a part of feeding the tribe (for want of a better term) thousands of years ago as the men.

When oh when will they stop looking down on us. Drives me crazy. I think a hundred years ago I would've been a suffragette!! And proud of it.
I didn’t read it like that at all.
 

honetpot

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I thought it was another professional's assessment of what it takes to be a jump jockey, if ever you have a couple of falls at speed the determination to get back on, and not let the muscle memory of that fall overwhelm you, must be huge. To wipe the mental slate clean, and get ready for next race, while at the same time giving yourself feedback of what could be improved is amazing.
 

Clodagh

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well you see where he is saying exactly what owe shouldn't. That because she's female he didn't think shed be strong enough and he's surprised she is! For heaven sake!!!! What is it with men? Ok I know what it is. Thousands of years of being 'better' than us, whilst we had to give birth and raise the kids. Except of course none of that was ever the truth. there is evidence that women played just a much a part of feeding the tribe (for want of a better term) thousands of years ago as the men.

When oh when will they stop looking down on us. Drives me crazy. I think a hundred years ago I would've been a suffragette!! And proud of it.
I actually didn't read his column as being negative. I really don't think he is sexist, his sister would kill him. I think it was applauding a top jockey...who btw is female.

As for the rest of your comments, I agree with you and I am becoming a bigger and bigger feminist as my life goes on.
 

Kadastorm

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@Parrotperson i completely agree about AP. I was saying the same to my dad at the weekend, really dislike the bloke now and I used to be a huge fan.

I really like Bryony, the sport needs someone like her. She shows she cares for the horses she rides rather than just mounts to get from A to B.

Rachael reminds me of my southern Irish friend. Quiet, professional and talented. They are both different personalities but helping the sport massively and inspiring young riders.
 

Goldenstar

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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.
On formula I it’s a sport that depends on huge neck strength the physical demands are insane woman will struggle to match men .
 

paddi22

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On formula I it’s a sport that depends on huge neck strength the physical demands are insane woman will struggle to match men .
I think that's an old myth that has been disproven. Yes it takes a lot of training and neck strength but women are able to develop the strength. women fly fighter jets all the time and thats less stress than formula one. even the (fairly sexist at times) racing forums now seem to accept its a myth. Screenshot 2021-04-14 at 07.53.00.png
 

Bob notacob

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OH Lord ,am I that old now. I can remember when the first 3 girls came to work in racing at Epsom . They came to our yard . Good riders and tough enough , soon simply blended into the pack . The trouble with the jumping game though is that up till recently it has been a male effort . And if you were in the game long enough you saw some pretty awful smashes to your friends or riders or even yourself. I put it to you HHO ladies that no decent man would not have reservations about putting a woman in harms way ,especialy if he has seen what "harms way" entails.. This has left a n unintentional bias against putting a girl up on the plate over fences.
 

Mule

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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.
How do we fall and how do men fall?
Come to think of it, I'm sure the beast could tell you how I fall 😀
 

Mule

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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.
His mood has probably improved now he can eat more.
 

Bob notacob

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The forces applied are going to be the same weight for weight . But men do have a higher muscle mass level so i am informed. This means that to be a successful jump jockey and meet the weights ,a male rider has to be short and squat . Mostly torso. Long legs and neck are just added weight. Darwinism and jump racing!! Anyone with long limbs and neck is going to have a far higher chance of serious injury or death in a racing fall. I suspect that because it is easier for female jockeys to meet the weights , there is a higher number who are more at risk because of their shape . Nothing to do with gender , just physics.
 

Mule

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The forces applied are going to be the same weight for weight . But men do have a higher muscle mass level so i am informed. This means that to be a successful jump jockey and meet the weights ,a male rider has to be short and squat . Mostly torso. Long legs and neck are just added weight. Darwinism and jump racing!! Anyone with long limbs and neck is going to have a far higher chance of serious injury or death in a racing fall. I suspect that because it is easier for female jockeys to meet the weights , there is a higher number who are more at risk because of their shape . Nothing to do with gender , just physics.
Interesting
 

Bob notacob

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Yes , its just speculation on my part,but as someone who has had the sh1t kicked out of them many times in falls , I owe my survival to my apparently rather unattractive shape. In the immortal words of one racecourse doctor ,"I,m sorry i didnt rush over more quickly but I thought you were dead"
 

Mule

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Yes , its just speculation on my part,but as someone who has had the sh1t kicked out of them many times in falls , I owe my survival to my apparently rather unattractive shape. In the immortal words of one racecourse doctor ,"I,m sorry i didnt rush over more quickly but I thought you were dead"
🤣
 

Rowreach

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How do we fall and how do men fall?
Come to think of it, I'm sure the beast could tell you how I fall 😀
Slightly generalizing, but men tend to naturally tuck and roll, women tend to put their arms out and this results in broken limbs, shoulders, collar bones and a tendency to cartwheel rather than roll.

Falling techniques can obviously be taught - we had someone on here a few years ago who taught martial arts and iirc he did a clinic for HHOers.

In a lot of racing falls you are simply fired out of the plate, and the ability to fall well means you'll usually get up and walk away .... the problems come from horse falls, being landed on, trampled, kicked - in which case it makes no difference what gender you are.
 

Bob notacob

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Slightly generalizing, but men tend to naturally tuck and roll, women tend to put their arms out and this results in broken limbs, shoulders, collar bones and a tendency to cartwheel rather than roll.

Falling techniques can obviously be taught - we had someone on here a few years ago who taught martial arts and iirc he did a clinic for HHOers.

In a lot of racing falls you are simply fired out of the plate, and the ability to fall well means you'll usually get up and walk away .... the problems come from horse falls, being landed on, trampled, kicked - in which case it makes no difference what gender you are.
Got to disagree with the last paragraph . Muscle ,and bone density is what keeps you from flailing in a fall and yes , the good old tuck and roll . The best thing about a racing fall is that the forward speed makes you skip like a stone on a lake PROVIDING you can keep tucked and rolling ,and this comes down to brute strength. The energy of the fall is disipated over a much greater time than say ,an eventing fall . Its this rate of disipation that determines how serious things are. I dont think that professional jockeys male or female put their arms out in a fall ,but believe me ,its bloody hard to keep them in while you are being "washing machined"
 

Rowreach

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Got to disagree with the last paragraph . Muscle ,and bone density is what keeps you from flailing in a fall and yes , the good old tuck and roll . The best thing about a racing fall is that the forward speed makes you skip like a stone on a lake PROVIDING you can keep tucked and rolling ,and this comes down to brute strength. The energy of the fall is disipated over a much greater time than say ,an eventing fall . Its this rate of disipation that determines how serious things are. I dont think that professional jockeys male or female put their arms out in a fall ,but believe me ,its bloody hard to keep them in while you are being "washing machined"
I have a little plastic trophy somewhere in a drawer, given to me by my male p2p hockey friends for being the best girl faller offer - obviously they knew I would find this funny and not be hugely offended - so I have some experience, albeit several generations ago ;)
 

paddi22

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there was an interesting theory about how men learn to roll as children during play fights/wrestling/more contact sports with friends as kids, whereas women have always been encouraged/less inclined to have less physical play. haven't a clue if it's true, but can kind of see the logic in it
 
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