Abby Rugg

Name: Abby Rugg
Qualification: Gold Standard NCTJ Multi-Media Journalism Diploma. (Including 100 words-per-minute shorthand)
Employment: Worked at BBC Sport and Deltatre for London 2012.
Future Aim: To work in broadcast/production television.
Blog: Started in November 2011. Published on The Sports Investor and Value Horse Tips. Please comment on a post or follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, 5 July 2012


As many of you know already from reading my blog I am all for women’s equal rights – so my next question is this: Why do male commentators and broadcasters for horse racing out-number women in the industry?

I was reading a list of professionals in the media for the sport and only three women were listed out of 49 names.

Female jockeys and trainers compete alongside men everyday. Even in the bigger races such as The Grand National and Royal Ascot, jockeys such as Katie Walsh, Nina Carberry and Hayley Turner have no trouble battling against the opposite gender.

But why is it a different story on the commentary side?

I for one would love to see more female commentators but many fans feel that a woman’s voice is too high-pitched to deal with the excitement of a race. It’s crazy to think that a man’s voice is the only tone for commentary. It took a competition, Racing For Change, last year to find Britain’s first female commentator.

I find it awful how it takes a competition for women to feel they can put their names forward for such a job. On one hand I can see why it happened and I respect that it opened a window of opportunity, but on the other I feel that females shouldn’t be intimidated into applying for something that is extremely male-dominated.

I’ve heard people say that allowing a woman to commentate will be ‘patronising’. So I ask: How exactly? This is what I mean by women having a lack of confidence to proceed into the industry. It’s unfair to suggest that women do not have what it takes because of their tone of voice. Why is it assumed that the majority females are constantly giggly and shrill?

It is time to accept that more women want to proceed into the industry and I encourage racing fans to give confidence towards aspiring female commentators.

This is 2012, not the early 1900s.

Also published at: @valuehorsetips - Follow me every Thursday on their blog for 'Thursday Thoughts from Abby Rugg'.

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