Surf holiday 2018 Part Deux

When does a holiday become not-a-holiday?

 

I have been receiving messages from my fans about maybe writing part two of my Surf Holiday blog 2018 and have been inundated with PMs asking me what happened to puppy Linda… So here it is!  Part Deux.

I would just like to say one thing about the flight on Arabica Air.  You start off your journey with a televised prayer, which I quite enjoyed however, the voice of the prayer came across as quite sinister, the type of voice that would be in the intro to a film about a plane crash… #justsayin.

After hugging and kissing everyone on my arrival to Taghazout thanking the Lord Jesus for this interesting and diverse cultural hot spot,  I couldn’t wait for my surf adventure to begin.

 

Day two: The married men folk surfed ‘Mysteries’ (the beach round the corner from the house where we stayed) and they went out first thing in the morning.  The house where we resided for the week was on Anchor Point peninsula.  I was told when the tide was high the water came right up to the front step and the only way out was to go over the neighbour’s side wall!  I was saving myself for the afternoon surf.  We loaded all the boards up on two motors and went up the coast looking for waves.  Where we were staying was surrounded by amazing surf beaches.  We passed ‘Killers’ (a Surf point where Killer Whales come to mate) and then went on to Budha beach.  We stopped at the top of the beach to look at the amazing/not amazing waves.  Decided to surf anyways…got dragged, rolled and washed down the beach.

Got out before anyone else and met a man selling Morocco mint tea sweetened with loads of white sugar. He stopped to chat to me.

 

“Do you have child?”

“No.” says I.

“Next time” says he, smiling. “Are you married?” He goes.

“No.” says I.

“Next time” grins he.

 

 

I was thinking ‘next time’ I would be trying to surf better for longer, be with Henry the XIII and have my own baby camel, rather than being married or getting ‘up the cream puff’.

 

The lads finally came out of the water. I had dried myself off with my huge T-towel (which I used all week!)  Yes I know, I am SUCH high maintenance) and got changed.  That evening one of the surfing ladies who I was sharing a room with got sick and was in bed all the next day, the following day the other lady in the room got sick and took to her bed too.  The married menfolk in the next room jested at me for sleeping in the hospital room and said I would be the next to become ill. I never get ill and there is no way I would become sick, no drugs, no insurance, I am invincible!!

But then…That night I woke with stomach cramps at about 2 in the morning, and then proceeded to throw up 5 times in a row.  Excellent. One bathroom, five people, and three of them sick as dogs!  And the lady who looked after the house told us to mind our usage of water as when the tank ran out we would have to wait for the truck to come into the village to fill it up.

“When will that be??” I asked. She just shrugged her shoulders, laughed, smiled threw her arms in the air and shook her head!  Insert shocked emoji here…

Next day I woke up (thank God).  My face was full of fluid under my skin and I wasn’t able to open my eyes properly because of my swollen eyelids.  I then threw up again.  Nice.

 

A storm was coming in and all the guys went out to surf.  I got up and showered, ‘mind over matter’ I thought to myself and read my book.  The water from the high tide and storm started to lap around the house steps and continued to rise.  At the same time it was raining and the roof started to leak. Rain was coming in through the ceiling and rising up towards the front door…

I started to feel sick and scared at the same time.  Then I thought to myself, if I started to clean, everything would be okay!  As cleaning is calming.  After a while, I started to feel even worse so decided that I wasn’t bovvered. If I wasn’t drowned or got barricaded in by the rising water I was just going to go to bed.  So I trudged up the water-soaked and soggy landing to bed.

Spent the next few days being obsessed with the open sewage system that was Taghazout and Anchor Point.  Where we live we had to go through an alleyway in between houses to get to the cars.  The alleyway always smelt of raw sewage and made me gag.  I am so not hard.  I looked up and tried to work out the plumbing system of the three storey buildings in the stench of the morning light.  I am not a plumber but I could clearly see what looked like the plumbing from the toilets being linked up to a downpipe which stopped at the pavement to flow into the alleyway which ran into the sea. Insert green gag emoji here.

The beaches around Anchor Point had amazing, fun and exotic names.  Paradise Beach was one that stood out.  For its idealistic name however, when we got there it was a swirling mess of rock, sand, glass, plastic and shite.  With dilapidated buildings adjacent to it and no sick peeps facilities.  The surf was big and messy.  It was all too much for my stomach I had to go home and lay down whilst the others surfed.

 

 

Evening meals (when everyone was well) was an experience in itself.  You would sit on tables on the main street in the balmy, dusky evening.  The road and paths had been dug up in Taghazout to allow pipes to be laid but they hadn’t got round to put the tarmac back so the street was made of sand, dust, rubble, and pipes.  Insurance companies ‘where there’s a blame there’s a claim’ would have had a field day here. Always eat hot food, no salads, no ice.  The food was actually very tasty (my stomach is churning just thinking about it and writing it). Tagines were the main dishes, which were super hot and came with no germs or alcohol FYI. Or alternatively, you could sit by the water’s edge and watch the waves. Hash Point was a stunning location to watch the sun set and to see amazing surfers wading out through raw sewage outlets…

“Every now and then a waft of ploppsies would rise up from the sea and lodge in one’s nostril hair.”

You would sit there mesmerised by the surf, the waves and the skill of the surfers whilst ordering food and every now and then a waft of ploppsies would rise up from the sea and lodge in one’s nostril hair (of which I don’t have).  The smell would get too much and one would have to retract to an inside location to eat one’s food.  Which by now consisted of anything which had been burnt to f*ck or in a sealed jar. All served to you and prepared by men.

Where are the women?  Ummmm…not sure how I am feeling about this diverse culture.

Last day of ‘holiday’ whhhhhoopooopppppiiiieeeee…and the snow starts piling into Dubbers airport.  Holy Mary Mother of God just please get me home!  This is soooo unlike me I never wanna go home.  The ‘cultural experience’ has been too much on my immune and nasal system.

The last night the ‘duirty’ ladies myself included decided to go to a Hamman this was situated in Banana village along from Banana Beach, where they sold bananas near a beach which also was covered in shite, plastic, glass and more human waste as the river had been high the night before.  The Hammam was an amazing OCD, clean, cleaning dream!  Take all your clothes off apart from you bikini bottoms, and you are given a big bucket and inside that is a small bucket.

 

I asked the sensible, normal, factual question.

‘Will my contact lenses steam up?’

 

 

You go through a door and end up in two big, white tiled, hot steamy rooms filled with ladies laying about, sitting down and washing.  You can purchase a mitten and exfoliation products along with what only can be described as fabric softener for the skin.  All the ladies washed themselves, each other and small children.  There was also a massive squidgy to clean your area (I mean where you sat down not the lady garden).  I was in cleanliness heaven.  Why didn’t we go here at the beginning of the holiday and every night?  The entrance fee was only 12 dirham €1.2.  We came out smelling and looking amazing like clean, soft, slightly paler (scrubbed off some of my tan/dirt) ladies.

Went to bed happy then had to be up at 2 am to (hopefully) get flight back home.  Thank Alluh Akbar flight was the first flight into Dubbers after a massive snow storm.  And another thing!! I so want the call to prayer as a ringtone for my phone.

 

The lessons to be learned from this experience are:

 

  1. Don’t try and self-cure with Diet Coke.

  2. Sometimes you need to get over a ‘holiday’ by booking another holiday.

  3. That I am truly grateful for covered sewage systems.

 

My stomach is still gurgling but every drink, yoghurt and live good bacteria tablet is now my new bestie.  Back to teaching yoga…sitting in swatstikasana (cross leg) and jumping back into (chaturanga) plank; you trying doing that with diarrhoea 💗

Namaste,

 

 

BitchMittens Ellen

NB Linda the puppy was fine she didn’t get left on the shelf and her owner appeared to be minding her well.

Don’t Brake! A lesson in life… and cycling

I’m a scaredy cat…

 

This is not new information. I don’t like ‘dangerous’ things. Dangerous things being jumping off a wall or playing skipping rope with my 4 year old nephew. I could never understand thrill seekers. Adrenaline junkies. What’s wrong with you?! What’s wrong with being comfy and warm and SAFE!

 

Well I married an adrenaline junkie.

 

And now we share hobbies… But guess who won’t learn to crochet?!

 

So I’m on a mountain bike every so often and this is what I’ve learned about cycling and funnily enough about life.

 

Don’t brake too much. You spend all your time when mountain biking pedalling like fuck up some shitty incline and then bombing it back down at an unnatural speed. With twists and turns and bumps and branches and bog and wild boars coming at you! If you’re a scaredy cat like me that sounds like a lesson in torture. Let’s burn your legs getting to the top and make you cry like a baby to get back down. So what do I do? I brake. And what happens when I brake? Well many things actually.

 

My husband is getting away from me

What’s the point in mountain biking with my husband if I’m not anywhere near him? Seriously?! He’s gone! Like the wind Bullseye! How is it ever any fun if I am spending my whole time catching up? And how is it any fun for him if he’s spending his whole time waiting? And I felt this was true for life as well. What’s the point of being with him if I’m not with him. I need to keep moving forward with our lives, staying in the moment but always looking forward, not hanging back because I don’t know what to expect. Because I think I’ll fail. Life’s too short for such bullshit. Be there, with him. Always.

 

I risk skidding/falling/failing

You’d think that when you feel you’re going to fast you should hit the brakes. False. First time I hit the brakes mountain biking I went straight over the handle bars, landing face first into some mulch and cutting my lip. Second time I broke, I skidded hard, panicked and fell. I could go on but really all you need to know that braking in a panicked state usually leads to me being a pile of embarrassed and bruised bones. When I tried to ‘let go’ and stopped grappling for the brakes I noticed I was grand, a little watery-eyed from the wind but grand. Didn’t fall off, over, under, break myself and cry all the way home… I was shitting it but I was physically grand. I think this can be adopted for life. Don’t try and predict the unexpected by stopping before you even begin, embrace the wind in your eyes and the risk you could fail, because how else will you succeed!

 

I lose trust in my bike

I am convinced she is gonna fall apart the moment we hit a certain speed. (Yes of course my bike is a she!) She’s not gonna… I need to believe in that bike. I need to work with that bike. I need to trust the bikes and the people around me and work with what I’ve got in life!

 

I lose trust in myself

How can I ever succeed if I never even try. I am big one for backing away from tricky tasks for risk of failure or I am just too afraid of bad outcomes, mountain biking is no exception. Self belief in your worth and your abilities is so important and it’s something people really struggle with. If I can trust in myself and my abilities to control that bike, I won’t need to brake, you know until I actually need to brake. And if can do that, well that’s the first step in believing in myself in general. Surely…

 

I don’t truly reap the rewards

Like I said in the beginning, you spend so much time working really hard at mountain biking. Pushing up those hills, cursing your tired legs, feeling like your cycling through hummus. Why waste all that effort on being too afraid to really jump in when you’ve earned your reward? Why let fear stop you when you know it’s ok, why let fear stop even if you don’t. Even if I fall off and hurt myself, cycle into bogland and end up covered in brown, it’s an experience. One I can learn from, one I can live with. Not trying is worse.

 

Sigh…

 

That got deep! Sorry about that but you have a surprisingly a lot of time to think when you’re cycling.

 

Rhona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of the Season

I met Emily about a month ago at a kid’s birthday party.  That’s where we, parents, meet up these days… or during the coffee shop for morning fix. She asked if I would be okay to type an end of season blog having written my first one at the start of the season around February/March.

To be honest I’ve been trying to find the time since and now, well here goes…

 

Since February I’ve been training for the Castle Series first sprint triathlon in Gort, Co. Galway. Whoever is familiar with this, knows it is a series of triathlons based in castle grounds across Ireland, England and France. I couldn’t have picked better location! I highly recommend it and will be signing up again for the longer distance events in 2018. It wasn’t the best of weather in early May. The water was so cooold!! I was dreading the swim, and I wasn’t the only one. Plenty of lost souls threading water on the start line had that familiar ‘I am sh*tting it’ look, including yours truly. New wet suit, new goggles, new thoughts, will I manage the transitions?, will my legs feel like concrete blocks after the bike?  Then ‘BANG!’ the gun fired and we were on, heads down in the murky water, the first experience of being swam over, kicked left, right and centre.  Once you’ve come to terms with the initial shock, the next sensation is the lack of visibility, not helped by my normal eyesight running a close second to Mr. Magoo. The only saving grace was the ginormous orange inflatable course buoys. The first turn arrived and I realised my breathing had settled, my stroke lengthened and I kicked for the shore with all my might.

Out of the water, wet suit half down (careful!), run to T1, wet suit off, now hopping on one leg, helmet on, race belt on, bike shoes on, bike off the rack and I’m running to the start in 3 inches of the finest muck Ireland has to offer (see pic 1). Then back to earth, I couldn’t clip my shoes in and it was time for some foot stamping and cursing. Once I’m finally going on the bike it felt amazing. 21km passed so quickly, a quick energy gel in for that extra sugar kick and I’m cruising. T2, bugger, fell off the bike, the sweet kiss of concrete on my knee, there are children present, don’t swear. Bike racked, trainers on and now for a run off-road around the castle grounds for 4km. Surprisingly, my legs felt pretty good and I flew through the finish line at 1h 21min.  My first tri (new lingo!) medal, wow, I was hooked.

 

Pic 1: Muddy...

Pic 1: Muddy…

 

Since then I’ve completed a sprint tri in Kilrush, Ennis, the Hell of the West in Kilkee (full Olympic distance, I did the 41km bike and 10km hill run) and the Castleconnell sprint tri.  In meantime I’ve also done the Limerick half marathon, Tough Mudder (full 11 miles with obstacles along the way for good measure) and the Newport bike sportive 60km. Along with my road bike group we’ve completed two long rides around the lake in Killaloe. The first was in June with Group 2, averaging 22kph and more recently in September with Group 1, averaging 28kph, 8 lads and little ol’ me, the only woman!  Wonderwoman, imagine the theme tune, haha. And I did my second Dublin marathon which sucked! Running did not come easily to me this year, but another one under my belt is ok for now.

 

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Pic 2: Muddier…

 

Basically, my Summer consisted of 5-6 training days a week. Swimming in the lake or pool 3 times a week. Not running much, just twice a week while my son had his athletics but it felt like I was cycling constantly. Every Wednesday, evening sessions, 500m swim and stationary bike intervals afterwards, hill repeats.

Every Sunday morning session with the lads, 70-80-90km routes with a restorative coffee afterwards.

 

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Pic 3: Only woman of the bunch!

 

I do rowing and bike turbo sessions at home, often at 6am, before heading off to work or else at 9pm in the evening before heading to bed.

My home also seems to have turned into a mini gym. Bikes and a turbo trainer, Concept2 erg, chin-up bar, 3 sport bags always ready, one swim bag (indoor), one swim bag (wetsuits), and yet another packed specifically for each race. It’s funny but as I look around me it’s still the same now!!

 

Looking back you can get a bit rose-tinted but it wasn’t easy at all. In the middle of all the mayhem I started a new job in June, but I had to keep my old job as well, such is the modern world. So it was 2 jobs, an active 5 year old who was on ‘his’ summer holidays, entertaining, training, cooking, shopping, the lot. Don’t ask me how I did it by myself, I truly don’t know. I had my ups and downs, more than my fair share of complete meltdowns and plenty of sleepless nights.

But despite all this, or perhaps because of it, I learned to be organized like the CEO of multinational. Dinners were prepared in advance and child care always had to be planned well in advance based on my training schedule. Although food was quick I tried not to let that lower the standard of nutrition. I’m also a firm believer in organic produce and most meals consisted of meat (lamb and sirloin steak mostly), fish, tuna and lots of veg, particularly sweet potatoes and avocados. I found I was snacking constantly on nuts, dried fruit, crackers, quark (I had to look it up too), nut butters (yum!). Now when I think back, I often ended up having a second dinner around 10pm at night. It actually felt like I was eating constantly.

Despite all this, motivation for me was never an issue. Once I’d signed up for a race, that kept me going. The high I felt was amazing.  Meeting like minded people at the events or even while out training. People for whom this lifestyle is our normal, is a tremendous feeling.

 

What’s for the future? Well, next year I plan on doing my first half Ironman, and all going well the year after my first full one. In order to prepare for the step up in class I am planning on hiring a coach to help me to train more smartly and effectively.

I am also hoping Santa will be kind and I’ll find a new carbon-fibre bike under the tree this year (no I’m not demanding at all!).

By the way, I can’t let the opportunity go by without mentioning how expensive it is to exercise in Ireland?

Membership fees, race fees, decent gear… thousands upon thousands of euro… but hey, who needs high heels anyway?!?!

 

Monika 🙂

WOMEN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP

A Beginners Guide To The Women’s Rugby World Cup.

On the 9th of August, the Women’s Rugby World Cup begins. 12 countries will compete in four Irish stadiums, and over the course of three weeks, 30 matches will be scheduled. The final is scheduled to take place in Belfast, on Saturday 26th of August, at 19.45pm.

Hang on, why is it happening in 2017?

The Rugby World Cup takes place every four years and this year is the 8th cycle. (We did say this was a beginners Guide!) Here’s a bit of backstory. The 2010 event was hosted by England, and New Zealand won, beating England in the final 13 – 10. In 2014, the event was hosted in France, and England beat Canada 21-9 in the final. So the next one is due in 2018, right? Wrong. The four year cycle has been re-set, to avoid clashing with the Olympics, and the Women’s World Cup Sevens; and so we get to play this year, 2017, and every four years after that.

The Women’s Rugby World Cup is basically the biggest event in Women’s rugby, and support has grown each and every cycle. The twelve countries taking part in alphabetical order are; Australia, Canada, England, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, USA and Wales.

Qualifications – who gets to play?

So, the tournament is traditionally 12 countries, and the host nation gets a free pass. Then the best seven teams from the previous tournament also qualify. So that was Australia, USA, New Zeland, France, Canada and England. Italy and Wales also qualified because of their performance in the 2015 and 2016 Women’s Six Nations (England, France and Ireland already having qualified). Then in 2016 additional matches determined that Hong Kong, Japan and Spain qualified too.

And these are the odds from Paddy Power for outright betting, as of 7th of May.  England and New Zealand being joint favourites for the win, with Ireland and Australia both being pegged at 33-1.

England Women 11/10
New Zealand Women 11/10
Canada Women 12/1
France Women 22/1
Ireland Women 33/1
Australia Women 33/1
USA Women 66/1
Wales Women 150/1
Italy Women 300/1
Japan Women 400/1
Hong Kong Women 500/1 and Spain Women 500/1

 

Who plays who and when?

 

The 12 qualified teams are divided into three Pools.

Pool A: Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Wales.

Pool B: England, Italy, Spain, USA

Pool C: Australia, France, Ireland Japan.

Each Pool plays a ’round robin’ which means each team plays every other participant once, so that’s six matches per pool. (Each team plays three matches)  All of these first round matches are scheduled and we know who’s playing where. After these matches there are semi finals and play offs which will determine who goes through to the finals, as well as the finishing order for various teams. We don’t know who will be playing in these matches until the results of the Pool matches are in.  So we know when and where these matches are on, but not who’s playing (yet). So you can buy a ticket to the final, though you won’t know what teams might make it through 🙂

 

The first six of the pool matches are all on Wednesday, 9th of August and are played throughout the day at two venues in UCD. Ireland are set to play Australia at 7pm.

So How Does the Scoring Work?

It’s pretty simple actually. You get four points for a win, one for a draw and zero if you lose. If any team gets four or more tries in one match, they get a bonus point. If you lose by seven points or less, you also get a bonus point.

Women To Watch

If you’ve never watched a game of women’s rugby before, you’ll be in for a number of surprises. The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s a strong, fast game. These women take some really serious hits. In fact, you’ll spend the first twenty minutes wincing groaning and flinching as both sides hit and get hit repeatedly. Then after a while you’ll probably start yelling at the ref, the players and anyone else who isn’t cheering madly for your side. You get a sense that these are women with something to prove, there’s nothing but commitment and grit. It’s gripping!

womens-squad

There are 48 players in the panel (shortlisted to play for Ireland) and 13 of these have played at previous World Cups. 46 of the 48 have international experience. Players have been drawn from 11 clubs around the country with 8 from Old Belvedere, 6 from UL Bohemians and 6 from Galwegians.

leahWe’ve been bowled over (as have several opponents) by 23 year old Leah Lyons. She’s just… INCREDIBLE. When you watch her play, all you can do is thank our lucky stars she was born in Cork, and not Scotland, or somewhere Antipodean. At 5’9 and 105kg, she’s been playing rugby in Munster since she was a child, having come up through the ranks in Fermoy with a family all besotted by the sport. Watch her in action in this clip from last February.

 

As well as lots of great young talent on the squad, there are also some very experienced hands, with four players who have played at two previous World Cups. Nora Stapleton, Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs and Marie Louise Reilly played in England and France, and they would experience and confidence to the side.

You can check out some of the players here:

 

So here are Ireland’s matches again:

Pool C –

Wednesday, August 9 –
Ireland v Australia, UCD Bowl, University College Dublin, 7pm

Sunday, August 13 –
Ireland v Japan, UCD Bowl, University College Dublin, 5.15pm

Thursday, August 17 –
Ireland v France, UCD Bowl, University College Dublin, 7.45pm

Play-Offs –

Tuesday, August 22 –
Semi-Finals, Kingspan Stadium, Belfast
Ranking Games, Queen’s University, Belfast

Saturday, August 26 –
Finals, Kingspan Stadium, Belfast
Ranking Games, Queen’s University, Belfast

So there you have it, your Women’s World Cup Rugby, 101! If you want to follow more of the news you can check out this link. http://www.irishrugby.ie/ireland2017/tournamentnews/

Tickets are available online from www.ticketmaster.ie/wrwc2017.

 

Women’s Day?

This is a first post from amateur jockey and professional academic Emma Lyons – another remarkable woman we’ve added to the stable of cliché-crunching, stereotype-stomping bloggers in the Princess Pit!

Here she gets the bit between her teeth about the sport of racing, and how women still have many hurdles to face, when it comes to being recognised for the contributions.

 

International Women’s Day?

Not at Cheltenham it wasn’t.

 

I’ve been planning on putting pen to paper regarding perspectives on women in sport for too long. While I tend to make an effort when training, unfortunately I do procrastinate when sitting down to put my thoughts on paper.

 

However, the recent controversy regarding the women’s senior soccer team with the FAI spurred me into doing what I’ve been thinking about for quite some time: blogging about how women in my sport, that of horse racing, are celebrated. (or not!)

 

I’m an avid horse racing enthusiast and I was lucky enough to achieve one of my life’s goals: getting my amateur jockey’s licence and to ride in Punchestown (as well as many point-to-points). For me, there was absolutely nothing like it: the speed, the thrill and the energy!

 

So, given my love of the sport, and the ever-increasing involvement, success and recognition of women such as Rachel Blackmore (first female professional jockey in many years) jockeys Nina Carberry and Katie Walsh; trainers Jessica Harrington and Sandra Hughes and Aintree Grand National winning trainer, Lucinda Russell, I was curious to see what racing themed posts would be published online and on Twitter about International Women’s Day.

 

What did I find?

Nothing.

 

No reference to Irish Women’s Day, no reference to our sporting heroines, and no reference to the entries in Cheltenham with strong “female” connections – either those trained by, or to be ridden by a female. None of the prominent and widely followed sites, TV channels, reporters or race courses made any mention of International Women’s Day.

 

Well, not quite nothing.

There was this, from one of the race course Twitter accounts.

A picture of a glammed up “lady” advertising an upcoming race day.

Not quite what I was hoping for.

 

Seriously?

Seriously?

 

Another race course did make reference to a female of a different type – the horse equivalent – Benie Des Dieux who won a mares race last year. And that was it! No other references to International Women’s Day or women in the sport.

 

International Women’s Day occurred in the week before the Cheltenham Festival which is the pinnacle of the jump racing season. During the build up, all sport media channels devote a lot of air time, column inches and social media bytes covering the entries, the favourites and the fancies.

 

For the 2017 festival, there was a strong contingent of female trainers and jockeys. However, apart from the jaded references to Ladies Day (which include tips and suggestions such as what designer dress and tan to wear while going to the races), there was no celebration or promotion on International Women’s Day of the hopeful female jockeys, trainers and owners.

 

Lizzie Kelly was the first female entrant in the Gold Cup since 1984 (The Gold Cup is the biggest steeplechase event in the world).

 

Jessica Harrington became the 3rd women to train a winner of the Gold Cup, She also had two more winners over the festival, and as of 26th April, Jessica is the Irish Grand National, Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups winning trainer for 2017.

 

Briony Fox won the Foxhunter Hunter Chase, the amateur equivalent of the Gold Cup which makes her the third successive female winner in three years (Another amazing female jockey, Nina Carberry won the 2016 and 2015 races).

 

Briony Frost after winning the Foxhunter hunter chase

Briony Frost after winning the Foxhunter hunter chase

 

Horse Racing is a sport that receives great public attention, and provides employment and enjoyment for the public, owners, trainers, jockeys, stable-staff and breeders (both male and female). The increased role of women in racing was really noticeable in the 2017 festival.

 

Given that horse racing is one of the few sports where men and women compete equally, it would have been nice to see, in the floods of of media coverage and commentary during Cheltenham, some reference to International Women’s Day. It would have been a lovely way to recognise the significant contribution women have made in the drama, interest and and success of the sport I love.

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