Madawi becomes first licensed Saudi female jockey

March 15, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Madawi Al-Qahtani broke into the world of horse racing by becoming the first Saudi woman rider, obtaining jockey license from the Equestrian Square in Janadriyah.

Madawi, who started riding 15 years ago, had earlier secured show jumping training license from the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation.

“Saudi women have determination and persistence, but we lack academies that have race tracks for us to learn and practice, and so we are making our best efforts to compete in open fields,” she said while speaking to

Madawi established the first female horse riding school in the Janadriyah region in 2016. “During my learning days in horse riding, I sustained injuries, but such odds did not prevent me from accomplishing my ambition until I got the license that qualifies me to compete in races.”

Madawi said that her goal is not to win championships, but to train riders in show jumping, endurance and other races. “I participated in show jumping tournaments, the most recent of which was in 2019 when I won the second position,” she added.

Areej Al-Qahtani, sister of Madawi posted a video clip of her sister on social media as she prepared to enter one of the official races at Janadriyah Square, thus becoming the first Saudi woman to obtain a jockey license and participate in horse races in the Kingdom.

Reacting on getting the jockey’s license by Madawi, Areej tweeted: “I am honored to announce, with love and happiness, that my sister, the rider, Madawi Al-Qahtani, has obtained a jockey’s license, so as to become the first Saudi woman to obtain it and become the first jockey to enter the world of racing in the Kingdom...congratulations, my love.”

Several popular social media users celebrated Madawi’s winning of the rare honor. Ahmed Al-Rashed, head of the competitions committee of the Saudi Professional League reacted: “Saudi women are today a partner of the Saudi men in the development of the homeland without discrimination... We are inspired by the Prince of the Youth — Muhammad Bin Salman.”

“The rider Madawi Al-Qahtani has got a jockey’s license as the first woman in the Saudi equestrian history. She recently went to the world of racing, and worked hard to obtain this honor... we are proud of her...,” he added.

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