Tear Down Barriers to Female Equestrians

Target: Aimee Boyd, Vice President of Communications for the Kentucky Derby

Goal: Encourage female jockeys who are often discouraged by the blatant sexism they face.

Cooking, painting, and horseback riding all have a very strange thing in common. They’re all activities stereo-typically thought of as “women’s work,” but usually the professions are dominated by men. Even though far more women ride horses recreationally than men, for every female jockey there’s between seven and fifty male jockeys. There were no female jockeys competing in the Kentucky Derby this year, nor were there any last year, or the year before.

This problem needs to be addressed. It’s not that women don’t enjoy riding, but too often they face discrimination and sexism. Fans have told them to “go home and stay in the kitchen” and some horse owners refuse to employ women as jockeys for their horses. This is especially ridiculous since women’s bodies are more suited to jockeying, with their shorter statures and lower average weights. It’s not uncommon for male jockeys to suffer from eating disorders, probably due to the pressure to meet very low weight standards. If a campaign were launched to normalize female jockeys and convince more owners and trainers to be open minded about female riders, more women would be able to follow their dreams and make a living out of something they’re passionate about.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Boyd,

The male/female ratio in professional jockeying is ridiculous. There are rarely female jockeys that get as far as the Kentucky Derby, because so many owners and horse trainers are hesitant to take on a female rider. Nobody should be made to feel like they can’t follow their dreams because of the sex they were born as, yet women are kept out of horseback riding. This is especially ironic because women are typically shorter than men, so meeting the weight requirements of being a jockey is easier for them.

Horse riding is often thought of as a women’s sport, even though they’re vastly underrepresented professionally. About 90% of horse owners in the country are women, yet only 14% of working jockeys are female. Please campaign for women’s rights and the normalization of female jockeys. Sexists may not accept it at first but as the best-known racing event in America, it’s vital that the Kentucky Derby show its support for women.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Paul Kehrer

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5 Comments

  1. Ginger Neimo says:

    I campaign that people like YOU stopping trying to make money from animals.

  2. Teresa Barquet says:

    No firmo porque pienso que se debe PROHIBIR las carreras de caballos, pues se abusa y se droga a los animales para explotarlos y lucrar con ellos

  3. Horse racing is beyond cruel. Exploitation of animals is disgusting. I will join Ginger and campaign that people like YOU stop trying to make money from animals.

  4. Not signing this petition.
    Horse racing involves severe cruelty to horses.

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