The Man on the Horse: Masculinity and Sexuality in British Horseracing

  • David Letts


This research is the first comprehensive examination of the horseracing industry in relation to gay and bisexual athletes amongst two separate sample populations: jockeys and the wider industry workforce. It utilises a mixed-methods design, with focus on the results of an online survey, completed by 108 male jockeys and 125 male participants from the broader workforce. In addition to providing an examination of the demographics of sexual minorities in these two populations, it provides the first-ever account of the percentage of sexual minorities in any sport, found at 14.81% and 21.43% for gay men amongst the respective sample groups. Findings also show that 75.6% of the population of jockeys and 83.3% of the wider workforce respondents would have a positive opinion regarding having an openly gay colleague. Despite this demonstrated percentage of gay and bisexual males working within the industry, and positive attitudinal responses to having a sexual minority colleague, only 7.14% of jockeys responded to being out about their sexuality to colleagues specifically; with a further 14.28% responded to being open to everyone. Qualitative interview responses provide further depth to the statistical findings relating to coming out within the industry.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Letts
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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