Johnson: No allowance necessary

Richard Johnson believes that allowances for female jockeys would be a backwards step.

Richard Johnson will be presenting not receiving awards later this month

Last week France Galop announced plans to introduce a 2kg allowance for female flat and jump jockeys, a decision which has prompted much debate on this side of the English Channel.

Writing in his blog for Betway, the 2016 Champion Jump Jockey weighed in with his views on the subject.

"Everyone was in shock about France Galop's decision to give female jockeys a weight allowance when it was announced last week," Johnson wrote.

"The likes of Hayley Turner, Sammy Jo-Bell and Josephine Gordon on the Flat and Nina Carberry, Katie Walsh and Lizzie Kelly over jumps have shown that female jockeys can compete off level weights.

"Although strength is important, I always think technique is the most important thing in riding and they are all excellent jockeys.

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"I've always said that the horses are the athletes in our sport, we're just the ones steering them in the right direction (hopefully!).

"In the last 10 years it's been more common to see lady jockeys riding and that's a good thing. France Galop's decision is a backward step really and hasn't come across well at all. We should be competing on a level playing field."

Johnson has also been announced as a co-presenter for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards alongside Ed Chamberlin.

"They are the unsung heroes of our sport, and without them racing couldn't take place," he remarked.

"It's vitally important that they're recognised for all their hard work and I'm really looking forward to the event."

The pair will be joined by Freddy Tylicki as special guest presenter and he will present the most prestigious award of the evening, the Employee of the Year 2017.

"It's great that Freddy Tylicki is going to be there to present the main prize," Johnson continued.

"There's been an incredible reaction to what happened to Freddy last year and, although he has a long road ahead, everyone in racing will continue to support him.

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