Goodwood racecourse: Teenager is first jockey to compete in hijab

Last updated at 12:51
Khadijah-Mellah-on-horsePress Association

A London teenager has become the first British jockey to compete in a horse race in a hijab at Goodwood Racecourse.

Khadijah Mellah, 18, loved horses as a child, but living in South London she didn't think riding was an option for her until her mum found a riding school called Ebony Horse Club in Brixton.

Now after just a few weeks training on racehorses, Mellah competed against riders including former Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton in the charity race, the Magnolia Cup.

Khadijah has not only made a little bit of history by riding at a British racecourse wearing a hijab, but she also won the race!

Khadijah-Mellah.

Before the race, Mellah told the BBC: "I never thought initially I'd ever have a future in racing at all, but now that I've been introduced and I've been riding race horses for the past couple of weeks and I've fallen in love with it, I'm definitely going to keep at it. And somehow maybe one day get into big races."

There's also hope that seeing her success will encourage other Muslim girls to take up the sport.

Sahiba Majeed of the Muslim Women's Sport Foundation said: "Role models are something that I think will help Muslim girls try sport at least and if they do like it, try and progress through it as well.

"So it's not just about the grassroots, it's about supporting these girls all the way to the elite."

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