Racing aims to encourage and welcome LGBT+ participation in the sport of horse racing, bringing the racing community together to champion inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
LGBT+ industry figures and role models, including ex-jockey Victoria Smith, work rider Christopher Williams and industry courses manager Di Farrell-Thomas (all pictured) and trainer Mick Appleby, share their personal experiences in the sport and pledging their support to LGBT+ communities.
Learn more about the LGBT+ role models. Who they are and their roles in the racing industry.
The four-time All-Weather Champion Trainer with over 700 career winners to his name came out to the industry over 15 years ago.
‘To anyone who is afraid to be open about who they are and their sexuality, don’t be afraid, just be who you are.’
Victoria rode 250 winners as a man before transitioning in 2017 and coming back to the racing industry as an amateur jockey.
"To have transitioned, and to have been able to continue, race again on a racecourse and be accepted. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Chris has worked in the industry for eighteen years, holding several positions including conditional jockey, head lad and assistant trainer.
"Over the years I have had come out a few times, and that’s because I haven’t been able to hide who I am. I’ve now found a way to just say, this is who I am."
Farrell-Thomas has worked in racing in a variety of administrative roles across the last 15 years.
Di is currently a part of the Racing With Pride network: "The camaraderie that comes with the group and the sharing the love of the sport and experiences is something that is a huge benefit to the LGBT+ community."
Key figures in the weighing room speak for themselves and on behalf of the jockeys as a whole by saying they fully support the LGBT+ community and we must strive to make everyone feel as welcome as possible in the industry.
It’s really important that Racing creates an inclusive environment. Everyone should feel they can enjoy our sport and we want the LGBT+ community to feel welcome.
Your horse doesn’t judge who you are when you get on it, no one should judge you for who you are.
We’re a big industry with a lot of people involved and with that brings a diverse range of people. I think it’s essential that everyone feels welcome and it’s something racing has tried very hard to do over the last few years.
The Diversity In Racing steering group includes key figures from all areas of the industry with the purpose of making the sport more inclusive and diverse.
To achieve these goals and influence social change, a number of activities and actions are taking place including an LGBT+ awareness and inclusion e-learning module and Racing With Pride, the official LGBT+ network for British horseracing. Both are free to access and available to everyone in the industry.
Racing With Pride is a network designed to support people who work in British racing and its fans who identify as LGBT+ as well as allies of the LGBT+ community who would like to demonstrate their support regardless of their own identity.
The goals of the network is to offer a safe space for LGBT+ people to meet, have fun and support each other as well as promoting a better understanding of LGBT+ inclusion and provide a platform for the LGBT+ community to have a collective voice.