Top Female Jockeys in UK Horse Racing

For a sport steeped in tradition, UK horse racing has seen an exhilarating shift in its narrative. Female jockeys, previously relegated to the shadows, have now taken centre stage, each with a unique story that has reshaped the fabric of the sport. This article paints a comprehensive portrait of ten female jockeys who have not just defied expectations but have redefined excellence on the racetrack.

Hayley Turner

Hayley Turner's love affair with horse racing started when she was a teenager. Originally from Nottingham, she was initially more inclined towards show jumping. However, her enrolment at the Northern Racing College ignited her passion for horse racing. Navigating a path often marred by gender biases, she shattered records by becoming the first woman to secure 100 UK Flat race wins in a single year in 2008. This historic feat resonated across the globe, inspiring a generation of female jockeys. Off the track, Hayley remains a figure of fascination, her public appearances juxtaposed with a carefully guarded private life.

Rachael Blackmore

Born in the Irish town of Killenaule, Rachael Blackmore's initiation into the equestrian world was through pony races and local hunts. Her indefatigable spirit saw her transitioning from amateur ranks to becoming one of the most recognisable figures in professional racing. Her crowning glory came in 2021 when she won the Grand National, dispelling long-held myths about the capabilities of female jockeys. Blackmore's journey has been about grit, determination, and forging partnerships with trainers and horses that have been nothing short of magical. Her personal life remains mostly under wraps, allowing her professional feats to occupy the limelight.

Lizzie Kelly

Lizzie's introduction to horse racing was almost predestined, given her family's deep-rooted connections to the sport. Yet, her individual accomplishments, like the Grade One jumps race win in Britain in 2015, highlight her talent and drive. Known for her outspoken nature, Lizzie has frequently addressed the challenges faced by female jockeys, seeking to level the playing field. When she's not racing, she's often found advocating for gender equality, making her presence felt beyond the racetracks.

Hollie Doyle

Hollie's journey began in the idyllic county of Herefordshire. Her parents, both having ties to the equestrian world, ensured that Hollie was on horseback before she could even walk. Her meteoric rise in horse racing is a testament to her innate talent and relentless work ethic. Beyond setting records, Hollie's romance with fellow jockey Tom Marquand has been a subject of media delight, further highlighting her prominence in the racing community.

Nina Carberry

Hailing from the legendary Carberry racing family in Ireland, Nina's career seemed preordained. Yet, she's carved her niche with multiple victories at the Cheltenham Festival. Balancing professional acclaim with personal life, Nina's marriage to Ted Walsh Jr., another iconic name in horse racing, seamlessly blends her love for the sport with her personal commitments.

Katie Walsh

Being the daughter of the renowned Ted Walsh and sister to Ruby Walsh could have overshadowed Katie's accomplishments. However, her impressive performances at both the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival have ensured her place in horse racing's hall of fame. Beyond the track, Katie's life with her husband, Ross O'Sullivan, another significant figure in racing, beautifully encapsulates the fusion of personal and professional passions.

Bryony Frost

Born to Grand National-winning jockey Jimmy Frost, Bryony's equestrian journey was marked from birth. Her conquests, especially the Grade One race win at the Cheltenham Festival, signify her prowess. Off the track, Bryony is known for her vivacity, offering candid insights into her life through interviews, while actively championing the cause of mental health in sports.

Josephine Gordon

Josephine's tryst with racing began under her father's tutelage. From riding schools to the grandeur of racetracks, her journey has been exemplary. Clinching the British Flat Racing Champion Apprentice title in 2016 was a watershed moment, firmly placing her among the elites. While she remains reticent about her personal life, Josephine's resilience and dedication resonate profoundly in the horse racing community.

Nicola Currie

Nicola's evolution in horse racing has been meteoric. From humble beginnings in riding schools to marking her territory in major races, she embodies determination. While her career continues to ascend, Nicola maintains a veil of privacy around her personal life, allowing her professional endeavours to shine brightly.

Lucy Alexander

Lucy, a proud Scot, has seamlessly blended grace with grit on the racetrack. Her accolade of being the first female to win the Conditional Jockeys' Championship underscores her talent. Choosing to keep her personal life away from the prying eyes of the media, Lucy's professional journey speaks volumes, reflecting her passion and commitment to the sport.

In wrapping up, it's evident that these ten jockeys have not merely competed in races; they've raced against prejudices, shattered glass ceilings, and carved pathways for the future torchbearers. As the racetracks of the UK reverberate with their tales of triumph, they stand tall, not just as female jockeys, but as towering icons of the sport.

The Changing Face of Horse Racing

Over the decades, horse racing in the UK has been more than just a sport—it's a cultural institution. However, like many traditional sports, it has faced its share of gender biases. Historically dominated by male jockeys, trainers, and even spectators, women often found themselves on the peripheries. However, the sheer determination, talent, and passion displayed by pioneering female jockeys have led to a seismic shift in perceptions. Today, they are not just participants but key players, making significant contributions to every facet of the sport.

The Challenges and Triumphs

While these jockeys' successes are worthy of celebration, it's essential to acknowledge the unique challenges they've faced. From the pressures of breaking into a male-dominated arena, the physical demands of the sport, to proving their competence repeatedly, their journey hasn't been straightforward. But with each victory, they've not only added to their personal accolades but have also dismantled stereotypes, proving that talent knows no gender.

The Future Generations

The legacies of these jockeys extend beyond their individual achievements. By forging a path in the challenging terrains of horse racing, they've inspired countless young girls with dreams of mounting the saddle and feeling the rush of the race. The future of horse racing promises even more inclusivity, with women not just as jockeys but also as trainers, stewards, and decision-makers, ensuring the sport continues to evolve and flourish.

Beyond the Racetrack

The influence of these women is not limited to the world of horse racing. Many have become media personalities, influencers, and advocates for various causes. Whether it's promoting mental well-being, as Bryony Frost does, or championing gender equality like Lizzie Kelly, these jockeys are using their platforms to effect change. Their endeavours outside the racetrack remind us that their impact goes far beyond the winning post.


In wrapping up, it's evident that these ten jockeys have not merely competed in races; they've raced against prejudices, shattered glass ceilings, and carved pathways for the future torchbearers. As the racetracks of the UK reverberate with their tales of triumph, they stand tall, not just as female jockeys, but as towering icons of the sport.