The conversation surrounding equestrian sport’s undeniable diversity problem is an ongoing one, and certainly a common one amongst the team here at Eventing Nation as we look at the platform we’ve created and try to figure out the best way to use it to help.
One of those ways is by being accountable: ensuring we’re showcasing riders of colour, increasing representation and showing aspiring riders that they are welcome here. Another is by talking honestly and candidly about micro aggressions, barriers to entry, and systemic racism, so that we can all learn together and equip ourselves to dismantle these inherent structures and work towards a more level playing field. Then, of course, there’s the long game — figuring out how to create new gateways and how to restructure access points so that they’re more universal. We’ll be publishing some of the ideas and conversations we’ve been having amongst ourselves and with riders from a variety of backgrounds over the coming weeks and months, but this evening, we know that everyone is tired. We know that a fight like this is a huge one, and an exhausting one, and we know that sometimes you’ve got to give yourself a breather and take in some restorative joy. So tonight, we wanted to share a glimmer of hope from our friends in the racing industry, which was suitably shaken and stirred by the sparkling light that is teenager Khadijah Mellah, who became the first-ever hijabi jockey to win a race last year.
Together, the eventing community is able to make history — we’ve seen it before when one of our own has needed us to rally. We can move mountains when we work in tandem. Here at EN, we’re so proud to have a diverse, smart, forward-thinking readership, and we know that you will be just as important a part of these changes as any of us behind the scenes will be. So let’s stand strong, clasp hands together (from a distance, because, y’know, still a pandemic going on here), and change our corner of the world for the better.
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