5ft ‘pocket rocket’ Hollie Doyle is helping lead the way as women seek to establish their place at the sport’s top table. The 23-year-old set broke the record for most British winners in a year for a woman by clocking up her 107th victory of 2019 at Southwell last week.
I never thought I would be in this position to break the record. I want to ride as many winners as I could but to achieve a new British record for female jockeys is very satisfying and it’s just a wonderful way to end the year.
The fact that it was only two years ago that Josie set the last record is really positive and goes to show women are being given more rides every year, which is such a positive thing.
I’ve been incredibly lucky this year to avoid injury and to work for amazing trainers and owners, so I’d like that to continue and to have even more winners in 2020. However, there’s a lot more races to come before the New Year and I want to keep riding winners.”
And she has gone on to do just that, getting her 108th win at Wolverhampton on the 7th of December and her 109th at Lingfield n the 9th of December.
It’s only 14 years since the trailblazing Hayley Turner became the first woman to ride 50 winners in a season – and 11 since she broke the three figure barrier. Doyle, along with Hayley Turner and Josephine Gordon – the only other women to have reached the century mark – is helping to change attitudes. According to the Professional Jockeys Association 14 percent of licences are now held by women.
Given the opportunities, females can compete on equal terms. I just think racing was stuck in the dark ages and was a bit of a man’s world but there’s enough evidence and results now to show females are just as good as males.Hollie Doyle
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