18-year-old amateur jockey, Khadijah Mellah made history by becoming Britian’s first hijabi to not only participate in a competitive horse race, but also to win it. The student won the charity Magnolia Cup at Glorious Goodwood beating a line-up of experienced jockeys.
What makes the achievement more inspiring is that Khadijah started riding a racehorse for the first time only four months ago and the Magnolia cup was her competitive racing debut. “There are no words to describe it. I can’t believe it, to be fair.” The superstar jockey told Racing TV. “Ambitions women can make it and that is what I want to represent. I’ve had so much support and I can’t wait to see other stories of other women doing the same and getting into the industry.”
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Completely still in shock. What an emotional couple of days ! Loved every single second and I wish I could do it all again. Massive thank you to @charliefellowesracing @brsnewmarket @ebonyhorseclubbrixton and @olibell but also the crazy amounts of people who have helped me and supported me through my journey. Let the celebrations begin
Mellah’s struggles, training and preparation journey for the charity race was filmed for the upcoming documentary, “Riding A Dream” which revolves around her. “There’s quite a stereotype around Muslim girls and them ‘not being able to follow their sporting passions and dreams… I am thrilled that I am a part of a shift in social understanding of what women can achieve and what they can be good at.” She says. “I want to be a role model to anyone who wants to do something that they wouldn’t initially believe was in their comfort zone and allow people to follow their aspirations.”
Mellah began her horse-riding journey seven years ago as a volunteer with the Ebony Horse Club, a charity and community center. She is looking forward to attain her amateur racing licence in September whilst doing her course in mechanical engineering.
Watch the trailer for her inspiring documentary below: