In an exclusive interview with Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder magazine, trainer Jessica Harrington has criticised the number of women employed in prominent positions in the Irish racing industry.
Harrington has been a mainstay in Ireland’s top ten jumps trainers’ table for over a decade, thanks to the likes of brilliant two-mile chaser Moscow Flyer and current Champion Hurdler Jezki, yet few other women have made the breakthrough at the top level.
“I see myself as being very lucky,” she says. “In Ireland, more than England, racing is a far more male-dominated business.
“We don’t have a female starter here, or a clerk of the scales, or a stipendiary steward, or a clerk of the course. I am always laughing about the situation.”
Harrington also discusses Willie Mullins’s domination of the Irish jumps scene, describing his presence as “a challenge to get better”.
She says: “I agree with what Gordon Elliott said: instead of moaning about Willie Mullins just go out there and try and prove yourself.
“There are a lot of good young trainers under both codes. If you can’t compete you just chip away or even find something else to do. To me, Willie is a challenge.”
To read the full interview, see the February issue of Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder.