Female riders will receive a 4lb allowance in all races below Class 1 level
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
FRANCE is to bring in a 2kg (4lb) weight allowance for female jockeys in nearly all races on the Flat and over jumps from March in a move which France Galop president Edouard de Rothschild hopes will dramatically increase opportunities.
The allowance will cover nearly all races below Class 1, meaning all Listed and Group races will be exempt, and is expected to encompass around 90 per cent of the French programme.
There are around 100 professional women jockeys in France, roughly one sixth of current licence holders.
Amelie Foulon became the first – and so far only – woman to ride a Group winner on the Flat in France when landing the Grand Prix de Vichy in 2015 aboard the Andre Fabre-trained Elliptique in the colours of de Rothschild.
France Galop vice president Jean-Pierre Colombu said: “Bringing in a weight allowance for female jockeys is a real opportunity for them. This measure is designed to encourage trainers and owners to make as much use of the many women riders within the industry in the afternoons as during morning training.”
As well as Pattern races in both codes, another exception will be the daily Quinte Handicap, while there will be an overall limit of 4.5kg in allowances will apply for women apprentices.
De Rothschild has long been a supporter of the promotion of female jockeys and did much to expand the programme for races restricted to female riders during his first two terms in office between 2003 and 2010.
Sir Anthony McCoy opened the debate over weight allowances for women jockeys in 2016.
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