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Press Release 23rd May 2023 Epsom Downs

  • Nearly three quarters (70%) believe there are not enough spaces created with the LGBTQIA+ community in mind at sporting events
  • A whopping 93% of those say the sports industry should be doing more about it
  • Four in five would feel more encouraged to attend if there were LGBTQIA+ specific spaces 
  • This summer, The Jockey Club will unveil a celebratory free area on The Hill on Derby Day, the first of its kind at a UK horseracing event, as part of Pride Month


London, 23rd May 2023: A new study of Brits who identify as LGBTQIA+ has revealed that nearly three quarters (70%) believe there are not enough spaces at sporting events created with them in mind, while 93% of those people think the sports industry should be doing more about it.

The research was conducted by The Jockey Club - the largest commercial horseracing organisation in the UK - in collaboration with the sport’s official LGBTQIA+ network, Racing With Pride.

With a summer of sport just around the corner, the survey sought views from the LGBTQIA+ community about whether there were enough appropriate spaces for them at major sporting events.

80% of respondents said they would feel more encouraged to attend major sporting events if there were spaces designed with them in mind. Over a third (35%) of those respondents said it would make the sports industry feel more inclusive, with nearly a third (30%) stating that it would allow them to be among other people from the community, and nearly one in five (18%) saying it would help them feel supported.

Following the survey, The Jockey Club today announces that it will unveil a celebratory area on The Hill on Derby Day, racing’s most spectacular carnival, on Saturday 3rd June. 

Designed to kick off Pride month and encourage more people from the LGBTQIA+ community to feel empowered to attend and engage with horseracing, this first-of-its-kind area will blend entertainment and education in the midst of the bustling Hill enclosure, and will be free and open to everyone who attends the races.  

Within the space, radio presenter Mark Ashley will be spinning the DJ decks, there will be iconic drag performances from Le Fill, Cara Melle, and Bonk, a free library of LGBTQIA+ literature, and a bar and seating for kicking back to enjoy the racing.

The Jockey Club is proud to continue its ongoing work with Racing With Pride, which offers a community for LGBTQIA+ racing fans, and promotes a diverse and inclusive industry

Jen Loomes, Inclusion & Diversity Lead at The Jockey Club, said: “We understand that the sports industry as a whole needs to be more inclusive for the LGBTQIA+ community. Together with Racing with Pride, we are committed to achieving this and are starting by using the influence of one of our world famous events, The Derby Festival, to do so.

“Derby Day is an iconic sporting spectacle, attended by thousands and watched by millions. The Hill is also renowned as being the area of Epsom Downs Racecourse where a hugely diverse range of visitors have watched The Derby from for centuries, so we can’t think of a better place to have this celebratory area.

“We hope it will help people feel included and encourage more from the community to feel comfortable attending and engaging with horseracing.” 

David Letts, Chair of Racing With Pride, said: “Racing With Pride was formed as a result of academic work demonstrating the need for more proactive efforts around LGBTQIA+ inclusion within racing. We are pleased to have supported this important research and we look forward to seeing the industry consider these findings in future work.

“The group has been delighted by how the sport’s leading organisations have responded to this work so far and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our ongoing relationships with The Jockey Club and wider industry on matters of LGBTQIA+ inclusion."


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