Fact: jockeying in India is pretty much a male-dominated sport, and the logic applied is that men have the required stamina and physical strength to control a horse. But here's the story of 33-year-old Rupa Singh, who has broken all those stereotypes and is the country's first female jockey.
Rupa got the media—and people— in Indian as well as international horse racing circuit by winning over 720 races and 7 championships, and recently added another trophy to her kitty by winning Annamalai Plate held in Ooty.
But her journey to success wasn't a cakewalk. She belonged to the family of horse trainers and jockeys, and was introduced to this sport when she was just 4 years old. Even though, she mastered the sport, horse trainers and owners were doubtful of her skills as she entered the field, and for initial three years of her career, she had to race with average and ordinary horses.
And after proving herself by winning more than 50 races with average horses, she finally got noticed, and started riding the horses of her choice. Rupa came in limelight when she won Madras Classics in 2010, followed by Shikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Championship Cup in Poland in 2014 where she came first against some previously unbeaten female jockeys from across the world. "Riding a horse is risky and I broke my collar bone and ankle after I had taken up racing as a profession. But once I started racing, my passion for the sport grew. As I won a few races, I wanted to show the world that women can be as good as men," she told media in an interview.
Rupa now aims to inspire Indian women to take-up jockeying as a profession, and feels even though males may have an 'upper hand' in the sport because they're naturally stronger, with rigorous training and determination it is not impossible for females to give the guys some tough competition. Attagirl!