Racing is everyone’s sport
The initiative Racing Is Everyone’s Sport was launched by Great British Racing and Racing with Pride last year. It aims to welcome and encourage LGBT+ participation in racing and bring the community together.
Last Saturday Racing is Everyone’s Sport saw numerous activities across British racecourses, including the wearing of rainbow armbands which were worn by Jockeys in the:
- 12:27pm Wetherby
- 3:00pm Sandown
- 2:40pm Aintree
- 2:32pm Chepstow
- 6:00pm Wolverhampton
Rainbow saddlecloths were also worn in various races, including the Tingle Creek and were sponsored by the Kindred group (through Unibet brand), Betfair and Betway. Rainbow pin badges were handed out to racegoers as well as people working within the industry encouraging them to show their support.
Erin Williams, Sport Engagement Manager at Stonewall (they/them and she/her) said: “We’re delighted that Great British Racing is continuing their support for Rainbow Laces this year, joining millions of people around the world who are committed to promoting LGBT+ inclusion in sport and fitness.”
As part of the campaign, Great British Racing bought together jockeys Jack Duern and Josephine Gordon to discuss Jack’s experience of coming out in 2013 and the importance of being an ally for the LGBT+ community.
Jockey Jack Duern (pronouns: he/him) said: “Racing has definitely come a long way since I came out in 2013. I’m proud to be the first openly gay jockey in Europe, and also proud of the racing community for accepting me for who I am and for welcoming me back into the sport.
“I’m determined to use my platform, and as an ambassador for Racing With Pride, to show other LGBT+ people, both in and out of racing, that they are not alone and that racing is everyone’s sport.”
Racing With Pride has produced rainbow jockeys’ silks to showcase LGBT+ visibility and support. The colours were part of a competition run by Racing With Pride to design silks that will increase visibility of LGBT+ support within racing and on racecourses, ahead of partnering with Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign that runs from 25th November – 12th December. Three designs chosen by the Racing With Pride committee were then put to a public vote, with the winner’s design then brought to life by racing silks supplier, Allertons.
Competition winner Ellen (pronouns: She/her) said: “There’s been a lot of progress with increasing LGBT+ visibility and diversity within the racing community but I think there’s still a lot more to be done, and we can only build on what we achieved so far, hopefully we can get bigger, brighter, prouder, more visible and make sure that racing really is everyone’s sport.”