British racing’s 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Update

14 Dec 2022 BHA Features Grassroots

  • 30 organisations signed up to the Industry Commitment
  • Diversity and Inclusion campaign #ALLINTHERACE to be continued in 2023

The Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG) has today published its 2022 Annual Update highlighting the sport’s progress on diversity and inclusion, and looking ahead to the priorities which will be developed and delivered in 2023.Review of 2022There have been lots of positive developments and firsts in 2022 for British racing to celebrate, including:

  • Hollie Doyle set a new record for a female jockey in a British championship season, finishing an impressive second to William Buick;
  • Ashleigh Wicheard, travelling assistant for Neil Mulholland, won the Magnolia Cup charity race during Qatar Goodwood Festival, having earlier led her fellow riders in a taking of the knee prior to the race. This was the first time this symbolic gesture has been seen on a British racecourse, despite it having become a common sight across the sporting world;
  • Following on from All in the Race (#ALLINTHERACE), the sport collectively marked Black History Month for the first time in October with a campaign that featured three of British racing’s trailblazers;
  • Brian Finch was appointed chair of Epsom Downs Racecourse, the first Black person to hold such a senior position within the sport;
  • Diversity and inclusion is now taught specifically on jockey licensing courses, ensuring the next generation of our athletes are educated in this vital subject;
  • The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Code of Conduct came into force, with the aim of promoting respect a fairer, more inclusive sport for all;
  • A further nine organisations signed up the Diversity and Inclusion Industry Commitment, making it 30 in total.

Looking ahead to 2023In 2023 the DiRSG, funded by the Racing Foundation, will continue to make progress on the areas set out originally in 2021:

  • Raising awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion across the whole sport;
  • Better understanding British racing’s landscape;
  • Creating an inclusive sport for all.

Further details on how these priorities will be progressed, as well as a review of 2022’s activities, are available in the DiRSG Annual Update.Alongside the work of the DiRSG, there are a number of excellent initiatives opening up British racing to new participants and fans, including the Riding a Dream Academy, Racing Pathway, The Pony Racing Authority, Careers in Racing, Racing to School, Autism in Racing and National Racehorse Week.Susannah Gill, Chair of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group, said: “2022 has proved to be another year of progress, with a notable highlight for the Diversity in Racing Steering Group being the launch of the first ever diversity media campaign for British racing, All in the Race (#ALLINTHERACE) which will continue to be the central message for our work, supported by stakeholders across the sport. In addition, marking Black History Month was another important first for British racing and somethingwe must build on.“It is the responsibility of all of us in the sport to ensure diversity and inclusion is embedded in every organisation if we want British racing to grow and thrive in a world that is changing faster than ever and in which consistently higher standards are rightly expected from individuals and organisations. This is the challenge for us all to embrace in 2023 and beyond.”Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation, said: “Diversity and inclusion is crucial to the survival of British Racing and the Racing Foundation is proud to fund the work of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG) which orchestrated a number of initiatives and moments to celebrate in 2022. The Foundation recognises that as an industry we have a lot of work yet to do in order to be truly representative of society and looks forward to seeing further progress made by the passionate and committed individuals that make up the DiRSG, as well, as others leading the way in diversity and inclusion in 2023.”Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said: “British Racing’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has advanced further in 2022. Our collective actions will continue to ensure our workforce, athletes and fans alike feel at home in the sport, supported and championed regardless of their background or circumstance.”Brian Finch, Chair of Epsom Downs Racecourse who features in the All in the Race campaign, said: “Diversity and Inclusion is not a nice to do, it’s a must do for British racing. As the sport seeks new talent, participants and customers, it has to be beneficial to fish in the broadest user pool possible. I am privileged to be a small part of the very forward looking All In The Race campaign. How wonderful and exciting it will be if, in a few years’ time, there is tangible Black history to look back on with admiration and appreciation.”To read the DiRSG 2022 Annual Update please follow this link.Notes to editors:1. For information on this press release contact Naomi Howgate, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, 07425 156 344, or [email protected]2. The Diversity in Racing Steering Group was formed in 2017 and brings together diversity and inclusion advocates from across the sport who contribute a range of skills and expertise. The group is run as an independent voluntary body. It meets regular to contribute ideas, advice, and direction to help reach its aim of diverse and inclusive sport in which everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential and where fans from all communities feel welcome.