Author(s): Shane McNally
Sport & Fitness
Gender equality in sport is a hot issue of our time, with the women's league in AFL being pushed this year and the prominence of issues surrounding gender equality in sport maintaining a bright spotlight in the media.
Sport of Queens reveals the history of women in Australian horse racing from Wilhelmina 'Bill' Smith who secretly rode as a man at race meetings across North Queensland in the 1940's and 50's to the exploits and struggles of jockeys such as Linda Jones, Pam O'Neil and Beverley Buckingham in the 70's and 80's and the successes of women such as Clare Lindop, Gai Waterhouse, and Michelle Payne in more recent times.
As well as an historic analysis, Sport of Queens contains eleven chapters each dedicated to a female racing legend in which she discusses the successes and challenges of her career and the issues she believes the racing industry currently faces. Jockeys, trainers, breeders, judges, syndicators, promoters, race-callers and photographers are all included.
From a history of exclusion and a struggle for recognition to a slow acceptance in a male-dominated industry, the race for women to be taken seriously may have turned for home but there's a long straight ahead.
Also included is a section titled 'He Said, She Said' with quotes from men and woman that show the entrenched prejudices that still exist in racing alongside the progress being made.
Through extensive research, interviews and with his own long history as a racing reporter to draw on, Shane McNally presents an in-depth look at what goes on behind the scenes in the industry in Australia compared to the rest of the world.