"A horse doesn't know whether the rider on his back wears a dress or pants away from the track." - DIANE CRUMP
The first woman jockey was Alicia Meynell of England. She first competed in a four-mile race in York, England, in 1804. Women were involved with horse racing in Australia by the 1890s. Since then, they have owned horses, trained horses, gambled on horses and attended the races. Their participation in the sport was hampered because of a lack of facilities and participation rates were not as high as other sports.
Key milestones for women in horse racing follow:
- In 1970 Diane Crump became the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby, the biggest thoroughbred race of the year. A Derby win may have eluded her, but she scored more than 230 victories on track before leaving the sport in 1985.
- Julie Krone was the first female jockey to ride in the Belmont Stakes, which is part of racing's Triple Crown. She rode in 1991. Krone briefly retired in 1999 from horseracing. She returned in 2003 to win the Breeder’s Cup race, becoming the first female rider to do so.