Top female jockey says racehorse trainers sexually harasssed her at Doncaster hotel

Top jockey and racehorse trainer Gay Kelleway.
Top jockey and racehorse trainer Gay Kelleway.

The first female jockey to win at Royal Ascot has told how she was sexually harassed by racehorse trainers who made late night visits to her Doncaster hotel room.

Gay Kelleway, 53, has also claimed she was held against a wall by a famous rider and told: "You know you want it," while in another incident a naked jockey approached her in a sauna.

She has spoken out in the wake of sexual harassment allegations which have rocked both MPs at Westminster and stars and film producers in Hollywood.

In an interview with the Mirror she said that she had recieved a number of late night-visits from male racing trainers while stopping at a hotel in Doncaster.

She said the harassment had started during her time as a jockey but followed her into racing retirement when she became a trainer in 1991.

'I had started training and I was staying in a hotel at Doncaster,' she said.

'I had two trainers knocking on my door, and I had a very respected top trainer calling me.

'I used to stay at hotels miles away because I got so much harassment.'

'What I went through would be enough to push someone, especially fragile girls, to suicide,' she told the Mirror.

'I got harassed so much, people have no idea what sort of a tough time I had. It was horrible.

'I just wished they would leave me alone. All I wanted was to do my job to the best of my ability.'

She says her experiences were so terrifying she chose to travel in horse boxes to races rather than taking lifts and risking harassment.

The daughter of top National Hunt jockey Paul Kelleway is still the only woman to ride a winner at Royal Ascot after Sprowston Boy landed the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1987.

She says teasing transformed into physical abuse, with a 'senior jockey' pinning her to the wall on one occasion.

'I’ll never forget it, I was getting changed,' she said.

'I was in the changing room at Leicester and a senior jockey walked in and pinned me up against the wall. There were ­stewards around.

'[He said] "Come on, Gay, come on, you know you want it." I said, "No, I don’t". I said, "I’ll scream."

'[He said] "No one will hear you." I kneed him in the groin. He left then.'

She said another top jockey then approached her at his sauna.

'I used to go and use a top jockey’s sauna,' she said.

'I drove over to the house and I was sat in there with my swimming costume on and he walked in, stark naked, trying to shock me. I promptly left.'

She says women who are affected by harassment in the sport should report it to the British Horseracing Authority or police.

'Any trainer that tries it on with a groom or a young girl, they should be reported,' she said.

'If they get approached by a trainer, ‘a ride for a ride’, tell them to sod off and go somewhere else.