The Rise of Women in Horse Racing: Trailblazers and Champions




Horse racing has always been a male-dominated sport, but in recent years, women have been breaking down barriers and making their mark in the industry. From jockeys to trainers, women have been taking the reins and proving that they have what it takes to compete at the highest levels of the sport. In this article, we will explore the rise of women in horse racing and look at some of the trailblazers and champions who have paved the way for future generations.  

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Trailblazers in Horse Racing

One of the first women to make a name for herself in horse racing was Rosie Napravnik. She began her career as a jockey in 2005 and quickly made a name for herself by winning multiple races at some of the country’s biggest tracks. In 2012, she became the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks, one of the sport’s most prestigious races.


Napravnik retired from racing in 2014, but her accomplishments helped pave the way for future generations of women in the sport. Another trailblazer in horse racing is Julie Krone. She began her career in 1981 and went on to become one of the most successful jockeys in the sport’s history. Krone won more than 3,700 races in her career, including the Belmont Stakes in 1993, becoming the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race. She retired in 2004 but remains an inspiration to many women in the sport.

Champions in Horse Racing

Today, there are many women making their mark in horse racing, both on and off the track. One of the most successful female jockeys of all time is Julieanne Louise Krone, who is popularly known as Julie Krone. She has won over 3,700 races, including the Belmont Stakes, and was the first woman to win a Breeders’ Cup race. Another female jockey making waves in the sport is Chantal Sutherland. She has won over 1,000 races in her career and has competed in some of the sport’s biggest events, including the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup. In addition to jockeys, women are also making their mark as trainers in the sport. Linda Rice became the first female trainer to win a training title at a major racetrack when she won the Saratoga meet in 2009. She has since won multiple training titles at the track and continues to be a force in the industry. Other notable female trainers include Kiaran McLaughlin and Christophe Clement, both of whom have trained multiple graded stakes winners.

Challenges Facing Women in Horse Racing

Despite the progress that has been made, women in horse racing still face many challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of opportunities for women in the industry. According to a study by the Women’s Sports Foundation, women make up just 10% of all licensed trainers and 12% of all licensed jockeys in the United States.


This lack of representation makes it difficult for women to break into the sport and achieve success. Another challenge facing women in horse racing is the prevalence of sexual harassment and discrimination in the industry. In recent years, there have been multiple high-profile cases of sexual harassment and discrimination involving women in horse racing. These incidents have sparked a conversation about the need for more gender equity and safety measures in the sport.