As if the Cheltenham horse races couldn’t be more talked about, there is an added reason to get involved this year and that is in the form of 23 year old Lizzie Kelly! Lizzie is preparing to take on the mammoth task of riding alongside a fully male line-up in the prestigious Gold Cup event at Cheltenham (this race is as important as the 100m finals in the Olympics!). The last time a woman rode in this race was way back in 1984, when Linda Sheedy was unable to finish on the leader board.
Lizzie’s confidence is unparalleled as she has said, “A lot of the time I don’t think girls push themselves to the extent that I was willing to push myself. I wanted to dress like a male jockey… I had to do more to fit in, and look right, look the same as all the lads.” Funnily enough, the women that Lizzie looks up to in the horse racing world have yet to ride the Gold Cup for themselves. Lizzie remains adamant that her position in this sport has nothing to do with breaking any glass ceilings or the desire to make a direct feminist statement, “I’m selfish, I’m doing it for me. I’m not doing it for females in general.”
Lizzie has in fact already made history in the past when taking the Tea for Two to win big at the Kauto Star Novice Chase in December 2015- she became the first female jockey to win a Grade One jumps race event in Britain. Can she pull through to win the Gold Cup? Currently her horse Tea for Two is set at a 66-1 chance with most bookies. Lizzie and her family are understandably very excited to see how the race will pan out and are looking to take the event face on. It seems there is no stopping this passionate rider!
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