No plans for female allowance

The British Horseracing Authority currently has no plans to follow France Galop's lead by introducing a weight allowance for female jockeys.

Jockey Hayley Turner says a weight allowance for females would be 'unfair'

The ruling body of French racing is to introduce a 2kg (4.5lb) allowance for female jockeys in most races run across the Channel, both on the Flat and over jumps.

Although Listed and Group races will be exempt, France Galop said the move will cover around 90 per cent of the French programme as the ruling body attempts to increase opportunities for female riders.

The BHA plans to hold discussions with the Professional Jockeys Association and said it would follow events in France with "great interest".

A BHA statement read: "It is a source of pride that British racing is one of the few sports where females compete against males on equal terms.

"While there are currently no plans to look at a female jockeys' weight allowance, we have noted France Galop's announcement with great interest and we aim to speak with our partners in France to understand why they have taken these steps at this particular time, as well as to discuss the matter with the PJA as part of our ongoing dialogue with them.

"We will then consider if we need to consult more widely across our sport to make sure we have the very latest views on the subject among our participants, among whom we are aware there is likely to be a wide range of views.

"The BHA and the industry is committed to doing more to encourage and support female jockeys and to ensure they are given every opportunity to succeed at the highest level.

"Our qualified BHA jockey coaches include a number of females who, in their role as a coach, can also provide specific guidance and support to female jockeys and understand their challenges.

"We also fully supported the recent introduction of the #100,000 'Silk Series' of races for female jockeys, for which ARC deserve great credit for such a forward-thinking initiative.

"It is also pleasing that in recent years we have seen as many female riders as males graduating as apprentices through the two racing schools. But there is much more to be done."

Retired Group One-winning jockey Hayley Turner said she felt it would be "unfair on the lads" if a similar allowance was introduced in Britain, while last season's champion apprentice, Josephine Gordon, said she found the idea "a bit offensive".

Read More at Sporting Life

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