A good week as WiR Patron Katie Walsh is named 'One to Watch' in the Independent on Sunday and the cause of female jockeys in Britain enjoyed one of its most notable boosts – The Girls team won the Shergar Cup and Sammy Jo Bell lifted the Silver Saddle trophy.
Lee Mortishead wrote The Monday Column in the Racing Post: "Here's to more days to remember for women riders"
His article is paraphrased here and is also available to read in full...
There have been questions over the creation of gender-based team, not because they would be anything other than wholly capable, but because there seemed something a shade patronising about it.
But there was nothing demeaning about the events of Saturday... it was uplifting.
During Royal Ascot this year only two women, Hayley Turner and Amy Ryan, took part with just one mount each. Twenty-eight years after Gay Kelleway became the first (and remarkably still the only) female to ride a winner at Flat racing's most important fixture.
With credit to Ascot the Shergar Cup sought to raise the profile of women even before the girls' team was introduced and the results of Saturday's races, and with Sammy Jo Bell taking the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle, illustrates the benefit of Ascot's initiative.
No jockey can succeed without opportunities – the Shergar Cup shares these chances equally and fairly, irrespective of sex, nationality or status. Talents get a proper chance to shine.
Racing would be enhanced enormously if women jockeys could regularly take part in more of the major races – it would drive interest in the sport and stimulate others to get involved.
Katie Walsh – influential woman in sport
As a patron of Women in Racing the group is delighted that Katie has been named as One to Watch in The Independent on Sunday alongside its rundown of influential women in sport.
She is with other leading ladies in racing including Nina Carberry, Ana O'Brien and Caroline Murtagh. But notice that they are all members of established, high-profile racing households.
There are currently a handful of women jockeys emerging in Ireland who have not been brought up in racing yards however, so while there remain too many reasons to be dis-sastisfied with the standing of women in the weighing room there is hope that more significant moments to celebrate in the future are on their way