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French Female Rider Participation Up Significantly
The radical introduction of a 1.5kg weight allowance for female jockeys in France two years ago has thus far proven a success, reports The Guardian. Introduced in 2016 as a response to the total dearth of female jockeys in the top 50 (in France), for the past two seasons there have been 7 females holding spots in the higher echelons; last year Mickaelle Michel, hailed as a phenomenon among the jockey ranks, who led the championship for months in the first half of the year and eventually finished 12th; and this year Coralie Pacaut who also holds the 12th position. France Galop's chief executive Olivier Delloye told The Guardian; "The allowance means more rides, more wins and you can see one or two or three female jockeys now achieving a certain level of success…with some media coverage. The question is, will they manage to step up to the next level as well, being given some rides in Group races [for which the allowance does not apply]. We would love them to ride better horses in good company. But it will probably take another few years to see one of them established at the top level."