VICTORIA SMITH has revealed her dream of riding a winner as both a male and a female jockey after coming out as transgender.
Formerly known as Vince Smith, she transitioned in 2017 after a long career as a jockey and a trainer.
Having made history as the first transgender jockey in May 2018, Victoria told At The Races of her experience in horse racing.
She said: “I went a whole year, every day of waking up and saying to myself, ‘If I don’t do this, will I go to my grave regretting it?’.
“And every day I said, ‘Yes, I would’.”
Victoria rode 250 winners in a 17-year career before taking the decision to transition.
Fellow former rider Steve Smith Eccles was the first to learn of her plans and Victoria spoke of the support she received.
She continued: “One of my last relationships broke down and it left me thinking back over the years about whether I should have transitioned.
“So, in 2017, I came out and it’s been quite a good story so far.
“The first person I told was Steve Smith Eccles, and I didn’t intend on telling him.
“He said, ‘What’s happening in your life, where are you going?’.
“I said, ‘Oh, I might go away, I’ve got something to do. I can’t tell you but I will tell you eventually’. He said, ‘You can tell me anything’.
“I went, ‘Get me a large whisky’. So he comes back and I showed him some pictures of me… and he went, ‘You’ve been my mate for 20 years and you’ll still be my mate’.
“I’m very fortunate, being in racing. How many people can say that they’ve been a professional jockey, a professional trainer and managed to come back and ride in a charity race against jockeys I rode against before.
“Totally blessed really, it’s like having two lives.”
With a fantastic career on the track in the books, Victoria still yearns for one last winner – as well as a go at Strictly Come Dancing.
She added: “I’d love to be able to ride a winner, to be able to say I had ridden a winner both as a male and as a female jockey.
“And just to help as many people as I can.
“The only other thing, which would never be a possibility… I’d love to go on Strictly!”