A documentary charting Peckham’s Khadijah Mellah as she became the first British Muslim woman to win a horse racing competition in the UK has won ‘Best British Short Film’ at the prestigious British Documentary Film Festival.
A year ago, on August 1, 2019, Mellah made headlines around the world as she won the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood, a charity race beating experienced competitors including Olympian Victoria Pendleton.
Incredibly, she took home the cup just three months after first sitting on a professional racehorse. Then eighteen-years-old, Mellah, from Peckham, had learned to ride at Brixton’s Ebony Horse Club.
To mark the anniversary, the award-winning documentary Riding A Dream will be shown again on ITV this Saturday, at 12.50pm.
Reflecting on the last twelve months, Mellah, who was named the Sunday Times’ Young Sportswoman of the Year and is now an ambassador for Great British Racing, said: “Winning the Magnolia Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival was a whirlwind experience and something that has changed my life immensely.
“The fact that the documentary of my story, Riding A Dream, has gone on to win Best British Short Film is totally surreal.”
She went on to explain: “At the time, I was looking up to role models to help inspire me and get me through the gruelling training.
“So it was incredible to then receive messages from young women and girls in particular, saying that I had inspired them to do something out of their comfort zone.
“It is so important to me to encourage people to be determined and pursue a sport to a higher level despite what other people may think.
“My hope is that my experiences will encourage more people to get involved in racing.”
She added: “When I was younger, I didn’t think that getting into racing would be an option for me or someone of my background.
“There was no one that looked like me. I hope now that I have joined the racing industry and I have been a success story that young people like me will also see there is an opportunity for them to join that racing community.”
All videos and photos courtesy of Great British Racing