Tasmania will host two inaugural female racing events – the Sky Racing Australian Female Jockey Championship and the Australian Female Drivers Championship – within a week of each other in March.
The female jockey championships will feature Tasmania’s Siggy Carr and Georgie Catania (pending her return from Sunday’s fall), South Australia’s Clare Lindop and other female jockeys from around Australia, who will compete against each other at Launceston Racecourse on Wednesday 7 March.
The race meeting on the eve of International Women’s Day extends the 2018 Sky Racing Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival (TSRC) from its traditional finale of Launceston Cup Day on Wednesday 28 February.
Two jockeys from each state and one from the Northern Territory will compete in four races for $5000 for first place, $1000 for second and $500 for third.
The drivers’ championship, also in Launceston, on Sunday 11 March will feature 12 drivers from around Australia (two from each state) wearing teal pants on the final night of Team Teal 2018 that raises funds for ovarian cancer research and awareness.
The drivers the event has attracted are world-class and will provide a real demonstration of the influence of women in the harness code, Tasracing chief executive officer Vaughn Lynch said.
Drivers travelling to Tasmania for the competition include Victoria’s Kerryn Manning and Kate Gath as well as Queensland’s Narissa McMullen. Tasmanian will be represented by Natalee Emery and Kristy Grant.
Prize money of $5000 for first place, $1000 for second and $500 is also available.
Mr Lynch said while he was very pleased to see mainstream sports recognising female participation, this was something the racing industry had practised for many years.
“Racing has led the way in enabling females to compete equally with males,” he said.
“The opportunity to celebrate and promote the achievements of the country’s best jockeys and harness drivers in the same city and state within five days of each other is a unique and important one.