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India’s first female horse jockey Rupa Singh won over 720 races around globe

India’s first female horse jockey Rupa Singh won over 720 races around globe

Abhijit Nair

Published: 9 Jan 2021 11:47 AM GMT

Jockeying is mainly considered as a man’s sport, more so in India. Most of the people in the country do not allow women in the sport citing that women do not have the required physical strength or stamina to control a horse which in turn puts them at the risk of sustaining some major injuries.

All of this seems to be changing with the emergence of a woman named Rupa Kunwar Singh! Singh, aged 37 now, is the first Indian woman jockey and has won over 700 races at various national and international level competitions.

Whilst women in India are mainly restricted from venturing into any kind of dangerous sports by families, Singh started riding horses at the age of just four. Singh learned the basics of controlling a horse from her grandfather, Ugam Singh Rathore, who was a horse trainer with the British Indian Army.

But, it was her jockey father Narpat Singh Rathore who taught her the dynamics of the sport of jockeying. Inspired by the Italian origin woman jockey, Silva Storai who settled in India in 1978, Narpat Singh decided to push her daughter into the sport.

If the family was supportive in terms of Singh taking up the sport, the same really cannot be said about the outsiders. She had to face a lot of discrimination during the early part of her career. Most notably, she was never provided with the best horses while competing in any tournament. It was only after she had won around 50 races in her career that people began taking her seriously and she was provided with better horses than before.

From being discriminated against to becoming the first Indian woman jockey, Rupa Kunwar Singh’s story is something that needs to be told. The same might just come as there were reports in 2019 of filmmaker Shivam Nair displaying interest to take Singh’s story to the big screens.

Also read: Allergic to salt water, yet Bula Choudhury swam in seas of 5 continents

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