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‘I’ll really miss race-riding’: history-making jockey steps down with baby announcement

History-making British jump jockey Lizzie Kelly is stepping back from the saddle with the news that she expecting her first child.

Lizzie, 27, was the first woman to ride a Grade One winner over fences when she piloted Tea For Two to victory in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day 2015.

She announced today (Thursday, 9 July) that she would “not be returning to the weighing room this season and in all likelihood not at all” as she is expecting a baby with her husband, bloodstock agent Ed Partridge.

“I want to take the opportunity to thank the huge amount of people who have helped along the way,” she said.

“My husband Ed, Mum and Chester, the team and all the owners at Culverhill Farm, Rodi Green, Neil King, Ginge and the hordes of other people who taught me, helped me and encouraged me over the past 11 years.

“The girls in the weighing room who made it feel like home and the lads on the other side who were always so good to me.

“I really have had a career that I could never imagined and I’ve been blessed to be associated with the horses that I have ridden.”

Lizzie rode around 50 point-to-point winners while at school and university before turning professional aged 21 when she joined Neil King as a conditional.

Other highlights of Lizzie’s 11-year career include Cheltenham Festival wins in 2018 aboard Coo Star Civola in the Ultima Handicap Chase and last year on Siruh Du Lac in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase. She was also the first woman in 33 years to ride in the Gold Cup in 2017, which she contested aboard Tea For Two.

“I will still be heavily involved in racing through mine and Ed’s new venture, Valentine Bloodstock, which will focus on my love of dealing with youngstock and I hope to continue working within the racing media, something I’ve always enjoyed and am passionate about,” she said.

“I’ll really, really miss race riding, but won’t miss those saunas! It’s been a dream. Thanks to all.”

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She added the long-term goal is to train, but “there is nothing that will replace riding in races”.

“The big winners are an important part of a jockey’s career; it’s what you put all your hard work and efforts into getting,” Lizzie told Great British Racing.

“The part of the job I enjoyed the most was riding young horses on their first time on the racetrack and looking after them – I got a real kick out of that.”

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