The first UK jockey to win a race wearing a hijab
We love hearing about inspirational women here at Love Leggings, and we were so impressed by the story of Khadijah Mellah, the 18-year-old British Muslim student from Peckham who raced to victory by winning the Magnolia Cup at ‘Glorious Goodwood’, just a few days ago.
Only having first sat on a racehorse just four months prior, the South London native, amateur jockey made history by winning the ‘five-and-a-half-furlong charity race’ on the outsider horse ‘Haverland’, trained by Charlie Fellowes.
Khadijah was going head to head with 11 other female riders all in the name of charity, which included celebrities including Olympian Victoria Pendleton, Apprentice star Luisa Zissman, and Irish model Vogue Williams. What was so astounding is that not only did she beat competitive athletes, she also went on to win over professional rider Sophie van der Merwe, making Khadijah’s victory even more fantastic!
"There are no words to describe this - I'm lost for words"
Whilst practising for the race just a couple of months prior, Khadijah was also revising and working hard towards her A Level exams and coursework, whilst also taking part in her training during Ramadan, which added even more the pressure to the process. But Khadijah took the stress in her stride, with her horse trainer, Charlie Fellowes calling her simply “a legend”.
Not only has Khadijah been an amazing inspiration for women, she has also been a huge beacon of positivity for the Muslim community. Being the first jockey in the UK to win a competitive race wearing a hijab, the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation has praised her amazing achievement, and with the number of British Muslim jockeys being in single figures, we hope she’ll be an inspiration to not just Muslim women, but all young people looking to make something of their career.
We hope that Khadijah continues to work towards gaining her jockey’s license, and we really hope to see more of her! We’d love to hear your thoughts on Khadijah’s story, so please let us know in the comments!