France Galop has reviewed the 2kg weight allowance (up to 4.5kg, or 9lb, for female apprentices) given to female jockeys since March 2017.
This unprecedented measure in horse racing has met its goals. The number of starters ridden by female jockeys in flat racing has doubled since then. A 165% increase in the number of wins has also been recorded.
France Galop has monitored the effects of the rule and received advice on the matter from trainers, jockeys (both male and female) and jockeys’ agents, and decided to lower the weight allowance in the best interests of fair competition and breeding selection.
The weight conditions will now be distinct according to the disciplines:
FLAT: The weight allowance is reduced from 2.0kg to 1.5kg (roughly 4 to 3lbs) and will be limited to a maximum of 4kg (8lbs) for apprentices and young jockeys.
It is also planned to replace the program of 40 races restricted to female jockeys with a series of races for any jockey who has not won 10, 15 or 20 races during the year.
JUMPS: The weight allowance is maintained at 2kg for female jockeys but will be capped at 4kg.
Edouard de Rothschild, President of France Galop, explains: "Nearly a year on from the inception of this weight allowance for female jockeys, the visibility of these sportswomen has been reinforced. France Galop hopes this positive effect will be long-lasting. The measure will therefore be continued while undergoing an evolution which has been widely discussed among racing's stakeholders."
France Galop has also decided to take new steps to promote race riding by revising the weight allowance thresholds according to the number of wins (currently 40 over jumps and 70 on the Flat) for apprentices and young jockeys. The secretary of Racing will work out a new set of thresholds to be implemented before the second quarter of 2018.