Jacqueline Coward point-to-point comment: new lady jockeys and old legends [H&H VIP]

  • My good friend Annie Dalton tweeted about the number of lady winners at Chaddesley Corbett (27 December): “5 out of 7 of the winners today at Chaddesley were ridden by girls #girlpower #yeeeeeha”  — and I totally agree.

    It’s really encouraging to see lots of ladies’ horses running and it would be interesting to see how many lady jockeys have registered their licence this year compared with men.

    Following Chaddesley Corbett, there were 3 more girls in the winner’s enclosure at Cottenham on Sunday, with 13 runners in the ladies’ open.

    It was a joy to watch Khyber Kim and Camilla Henderson win the novice riders’ race. It’s great to see the old legends having a revival and educating young jockeys. I’m sure the public love coming to see famous 4-legged names looking happy and doing well.

    The Yorkshire season gets started at Sheriff Hutton on 12 January, so I’ve not had any horses out from home yet.

    The Yorkshire champion Richard Smith kicked off his campaign with a treble, so he’s started off how he finished last season — flying!

    The change in ground between Alnwick and Cottenham was really noticeable. The south is getting all the water but, when you read this, it will probably be raining — that’s what my weatherman says!

    This season, we’ve also had to rely on outside help to assist with the riding and yard duties, especially with my sister Sam off with a back problem. It’s brought to light how difficult it is to find the right people.

    There are plenty of people who can plait and muck out to a high standard, but finding someone who can ride a racehorse, and ride it well, is hard. It’s also handy having someone who knows when a horse doesn’t feel quite right and that only comes with experience.

    The Pony Club offers such a good grounding in which ever discipline you choose, be it racing, eventing or dressage.

    I’m lucky that between us we have some good riders, but they do seem to be a dying breed.

    Jacqueline’s comment was first published in Horse & Hound magazine, 3 January 2013