RACING: King on top of the world with award in Hollywood

Rachel King at the awards ceremony

Rachel King at the awards ceremony

First published in Sport

Oxfordshire rider Rachel King was presented with the world’s best lady jockey award for her achievements in Arab horse racing at a glittering ceremony at the home of the Oscars in Hollywood.

The 23-year-old, who hails from Waterperry, near Oxford, was nominated by the Arab Racing Organisation for the prize at the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards in California.

It came after she was crowned the champion lady jockey in the United Kingdom last year.

And she took to the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre to receive her trophy after beating off opposition from 15 other lady jockeys from around the world.

King, who is working Australia now for legendary trainer Gai Waterhouse, said: “I was told the week before that I had been nominated, but I did not know I had won until they read my name out on the night.

“It was great. I really appreciate it and I'm so pleased to win as there was some stuff competition.

“It was unbelievable to be in the Dolby Theatre.

“The whole place has an amazing atmosphere, and it was amazing to walk down the hall of fame after receiving my award just like they do at the Oscars.”

And that wasn’t the end of the celebrations as the following night she attended a gala dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

The Oxford Times:

Rachel King wins on Sankado while representing Great Britain during the Fegentri international series in Holland in 2011

The award was the latest special moment in racing for King, who picked out two other highlights.

“The first one would be when I had my first winner on Lady De Paris at Tweseldown trained by my dad (Chris),” she added.

“I was given this mare by a very close friend, John De Lisle Wells, so that was a very special day.”

And she nominated winning the Queen Mother Cup at York in 2010 on Desert Recluse, trained by Pat Eddery, as another memorable moment.

“This race is definitely a big highlight in the ladies’ racing calendar, and it was a honour to win it, especially for a legend like Pat Eddery,” she added.

With the support of family and friends, King, who worked as secretary to Lambourn trainer Clive Cox, took the big decision to move to Australia earlier this year to try and further her career.

She is working at Kensington, Sydney, for Waterhouse, who won the Melbourne Cup with Fiorente last November.

Among the horses King has been riding out Down Under is 2011 Epsom Derby third, Carlton House, owned by the Queen.

“I decided I would like to go to Australia to learn and improve my riding, and while working here I thought I would love to give it a go at riding here,” she said.

“I hope to get my apprentice jockey licence out here.

“It’s a great country and I really like the racing over here. Working for Gai Waterhouse is a great opportunity, she is an extremely good trainer.”

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