Home SPORTS GIST INTERNATIONAL FEMALE JOCKEYS TO FEATURE IN HORSE RACING IN RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA

FEMALE JOCKEYS TO FEATURE IN HORSE RACING IN RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA

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Saudi Arabia is set to finally give opportunity for female jockeys to participate in the world’s richest racing competition, Saudi Cup 2020.

The championship which is scheduled to take place in the nation’s capital, Riyadh, on 29 February next year, is geared towards transforming the country, according to Saudi Arabia’s Prince, Bandar.

Prince Bandar said female jockeys would be “most welcome” – the country has faced criticism over its record on women’s rights.

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“Men and women will be treated equally,” he said when asked about jockeys.

A promotional event in London was attended by key British racing figures, including jockey Frankie Dettori and top trainers such as Sir Michael Stoute and John Gosden.

It is the latest in a series of sporting events set to be held in Saudi Arabia, with boxing’s world heavyweight title rematch between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua scheduled to take place in December.

This has led to accusations of “sportswashing” – that the oil-rich nation is using sport to deflect criticism elsewhere.

Amnesty International has highlighted the country’s “abysmal” human rights record.

It is the main race, with prize money of $20m (£16.1m), at King Abdulaziz racetrack where five other races will have additional prize money totalling $6.8m.

The pot for the main nine-furlong race is three times that of Europe’s richest contest, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France.

Run on a one-turn dirt circuit, it will have a maximum of 14 starters, with $10m going to the winner and even the 10th-placed finisher earning $200,000.

Two of the supporting races will take place on the same track, with three others on a new turf course.

Raising the stakes – the world’s richest race
1984 – Breeders’ Cup Classic – $3m
1996 – Dubai World Cup – $4m
2010 – Dubai World Cup – $10m
2017 – Pegasus World Cup – $12m
2020 – Saudi Cup – $20m

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