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This Teen Just Made History by Becoming the First British Jockey to Win a Race in a Hijab

Khadijah Mellah wins the Magnolia Cup. Photo: Getty

Amateur jockey Khadijah Mellah has made history by becoming the first Briton to ride in a competitive horse race while wearing a hijab. Despite having mounted a racehorse for the first time only four months ago, the 18-year-old student from south London won the amateur ladies-only Magnolia Cup earlier this week. Not only is she the first female Muslim jockey to par-take in British competitive horse-racing, but the Magnolia Cup was also, in fact, her racing debut.

“There are no words to describe it. I can’t believe it, to be fair.” Mellah told Racing TV.  “Ambitious women can make it and that is what I want to represent. I’ve had so much support and I can’t wait to see other stories of other women doing the same and getting into the industry.”

Khadijah Mellah. Photo: Getty

Whilst training for the charity race which was held to raise funds for Wellbeing of Women, Mellah’s preparation journey was documented in the upcoming film, “Riding a Dream.” She said: “I want to be a role model to anyone who wants to do something that they wouldn’t initially believe was in their comfort zone and allow people to follow their aspirations.”

“There’s quite a stereotype around Muslim girls and them ‘not being able to follow their sporting passions and dreams… I am thrilled that I am a part of a shift in social understanding of what women can achieve and what they can be good at.”

Mellah began her horse-riding journey with the Ebony Horse Club, a charity and community riding center where she served as a volunteer for seven years. She is set to attain an amateur racing license whilst studying mechanical engineering at University in England this September.

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