Transgender horse jockey Victoria Smith competes for first time since transitioning to female
A transgender horse jockey has competed for the first time since coming out.
Professional horse rider Victoria Smith won more than 250 races prior to her transition to female.
Smith, who has been living as female for more than a year but only announced her transition publicly in February, made a return to the sport as female this week.
Smith took part in Jockey Club Challenge, a charity race at Warwick Racecourse.
She came in second place at the event, on her grey gelding Roy Rocket.
The race was won by Evie Brown, riding Catchin Time.
Speaking to the Mirror, Smith said: “It’s been great to get back in the saddle.
Ahead of the race, she added: “I suppose there might be a bit of banter or jokes in the weighing room but that doesn’t bother me.
“I received plenty of stick from other jockeys over the years but I gave as good as I got. Had I been born in a female body, I wouldn’t have had the career I did.
“But I always knew my true gender, so riding as a woman will complete my life.”
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She said previously: “I rode 250 winners as a man – and now I’ll win as a woman.”
Openly trans athletes in professional sport have caused a considerable debate regarding any potential advantage trans athletes may have over their cisgender competitors.
The International Olympic Committee recently implemented new rules that make it harder for transgender women to compete in female sports.
The level of testosterone allowed in female athletes halved for the 2020 Olympic Games in Toyko.
These rules are set to apply to 55 different Olympic sports including archery and wrestling, and may further impact transgender athletes’ ability to compete at the highest levels.
Openly transgender athletes have been allowed to compete in the Olympics since 2004, with the requirements that they had undergone gender confirmation surgery and had been on hormone therapy for two years.
These rules were relaxed in 2015, removing the requirement of gender confirmation surgery and lowering the required time on hormone therapy from two years to one.