17 December 2020

SPOTY nominee Doyle to attend awards show despite riding in France day before ceremony

Ground-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle has been given an exemption by the BBC to attend the Sports Personality of the Year ceremony despite having to ride in France the day before.

Doyle, who is the only woman nominated, will ride in two races for trainer Archie Watson in Deauville on Saturday.

As an elite athlete, Doyle would usually only be allowed to leave home for work upon her arrival back from France. 

But, provided she produces a negative Covid test, the BBC have said she can go to the ceremony after talks with British Horseracing Authority’s chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill.

Rod Street, chief executive of Great British Racing, told The Telegraph: “We’re very pleased that she is able to be part of it and take her place against an array of sporting stars. 

"Most people would get a day off before such a prestigious event. The fact that Hollie is riding in France on the eve of one of the most important nights of her young and successful life reflects her tremendous work ethic and loyalty to her trainer which is another good reason why sports fans should vote Hollie at SPOTY."

Doyle has been nominated after she broke her own record for most wins in a season by a female jockey as she claimed 146 victories.

Among those were her first Royal Ascot triumph, a first win on Champions Day for a female jockey and a Group One winner in the Qipco British Champions Sprint.

Doyle has been nominated alongside Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, England cricketer Stuart Broad and heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury.

The SPOTY ceremony will take place on Sunday, with coverage starting on BBC One at 8pm.

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