International Women's Day 2018 - Celebrating Female Equestrians

2018; women, their rights and true equality have taken centre stage like never before. I am fortunate to have grown up surrounded by strong and inspiring women, my mum, grandma, friends and work colleagues. Not all, but most of these were also supported by great men, my dad is the biggest rock to us all and it was always my Grandpa in the kitchen cooking up the best Sunday roasts, these gentlemen mustn't go unmentioned.

I had heard from a young age about the bravery of the Suffragettes. Told the frightening tale of the lengths Emily Davison went, to have a voice worthy of being listened to. This act and the efforts of her counterparts, must never be forgotten. So for International Women's Day I wanted to celebrate some outstanding female equestrians and share why...

Bryony Frost, National Hunt Jockey

  • I love to watch her ride, she is strong, elegant and unfazed by the horse power beneath her. True poetry in motion, it's in her blood. I am sure of that. When interviewed for CNN, Bryony shared her thoughts on the perception that women aren't as good as men at racing horses "But they're not facts, you don't need to listen to them". With less than one in ten race jockeys holding a professional licence being female, they only take 5% of the rides available. Women like Bryony will certainly inspire the next generation...I know who my money will be on in April's Grand National.
  • The first female jockey to ride in a race was Merial Tufnell; 6th May 1972. She successfully scared all the men by winning aboard her mothers horse, Scorched Earth. 

Mary King, Event Rider

  • I wasn't that comfortable with the title I gave Mary...'Event Rider' because to me she means so much more. Mary and her green silks are my first memory of British Eventing. A woman who has represented Team GB at six Olympic Games, numerous World and European Championships. Most famously in October 1995 when Team GB took home a bronze medal for her to later reveal she was 5 months pregnant with her daughter, Event Rider; Emily King. A former World Number One, winner of both British Four Star tracks, Badminton and Burghley. Not forgetting to mention Kentucky too and the British Open Title at Gatcombe! She is wonderful and has and always will be an idol of mine.
Martha Sitwell, Lady and Huntress

  • Lady Martha is an extraordinary equestrian and I am mesmerised by her beauty and bravery. Made for the British Countryside, she is a custodian of riding aside, proving that women can do both! Keeping the tradition alive, in the right way she also has a made-to-measure habit design company; Sitwell and Whippet and an elegant field clothing range with Harry Hall. There is endless good that Lady Martha does too, from designing our dutch courage drink; Martha's Marveollous Jumping Juice and donating a percentage of the proceeds to a Spinal Injuries charities to riding the 650 mile Mongolia Derby in memory of her late sister for numerous Mental Health Charities. 

Charlotte Dujardin, Dressage Rider
  • I could not have written a blog in celebration of female equestrians without a mention of Charlotte Dujardin. With her dancing partner Valegro, Charlotte holds the complete set of individual dressage titles; Olympic Freestyle, World Freestyle and Grand Prix Special, World Cup Individual Dressage and European Freestyle and Grand Prix Special titles...writing those alone made me dizzy. Charlotte is the first, and to date only, rider to hold this complete set of titles at the same time. Charlotte is also a great female equestrian to end this blog with too, because she wouldn't be where she is today without many of the fabulous men in her life; Carl, Alan, Dean, Ian...Valegro, to name just a few.

Thank you for reading,
Jessica & Oscar

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