This teen is the first British jockey to win a horse race in a hijab.
Khadijah Mellah won the Magnolia Cup on August 1.
“I remember three in front of me at the beginning and their kickback just sort of smacking my face,” she said post-race. “And then, slowly creeping up behind them and hearing their, like, hooves clip and stuff. And I was like, oh my God. And I was like, I need to find a gap. So, like, I pulled out a little bit and then [the horse] just went, like—Hoverland just went. He did it all—just an amazing horse I love him.”
The 18-year-old amateur jockey and her horse Haverland even beat former Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton in the charity race for non-professional jockeys.
She first sat on a racehorse in April 2019. She learned to ride at Ebony Horse Club, a riding school that encourages youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue riding.
Mellah says she plans on studying mechanical engineering but hopes to continue riding in the future.