'There are so many reasons why this is a really bad idea'
The US riding legend is unequivocal in her opposition to the French move
Julie Krone, 53, was a truly trailblazing rider and one of the most successful female jockeys of all time. She was the first to win a US Classic and a Breeders' Cup race, and has been inducted into both the US Racing Hall of Fame and National Women's Hall of Fame. Here's what she had to say on the female riding allowance in France when the Racing Post asked for her reaction
I think they should also make a beautiful pink starting gate, should place it closer to the finish, like they do with the ladies' tees in golf, and give us 4lb as well. That would give us the advantage we need.
I almost think this is a prank. I’m going to go away and tell my friends that in France they’re going to give female jockeys a 4lb weight allowance. We’re all going to fall around laughing at one of the funniest jokes someone has told me.
I can’t even get past the laughability of this to take it seriously and give it a proper answer. I’m embarrassed I can’t come up with anything more intellectual than laughter.
I don’t know whether to be insulted or not, which is the craziest thing. When you look at it, why wouldn’t you want to have 4lb less? It would be a good incentive to help the girls, but looking at this from the United States, where everything is so equal, no one has ever suggested anything like this. They’ve never said 'let's pay her less because she’s a girl' or 'let’s take weight off because she's a girl'.
When you start differentiating like that then things can get complex. Where do they stand on transgender? What if I was a boy posing as a girl, would I get my advantage then? What if you have a jockey that has a handicap, like an arm that’s weaker because of the way the muscles have developed, does he get a weight allowance because he’s less of a person and handicapped? Where do you start with something so ridiculous?
The only reason I like the sound of it is because I’m always on the side of the girls and it obviously helps the girls if they have 4lb less. It gives them a huge advantage. I like that. But it’s such a backhanded insult I wouldn’t know what to say. I mean, the audacity of someone to do that, to think they needed to do that.
To say you're going to isolate a whole load of people just because of their gender, it’s just stupid. There are so many reasons why this is a really bad idea.