My thanks to James for informing me he believes that women compete at the top level with men in some equestrian events, notably Dressage, sometimes described as “Horse Ballet”. If you haven’t seen it before, check out this (video, 2:24). If you manage to get to the end, you have more patience than me. I started to lose the will to live at around the one minute mark.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, women won the top four places in the Individual Dressage category.
“Hold on, Mike”, I hear you cry. “What about the horses? Surely they do pretty well all the work? What were the sexes of the four horses?”
I’m glad you asked. The gold medal, for Great Britain, went to Charlotte Dujardin (fine British name) riding Valegro, a gelding (castrated male horse). The silver medal, for Germany, went to Isabell Werth, riding Weihegold Auld, a mare (female horse). The bronze medal, again for Germany, went to Kristina Broring-Sprehe, riding Desperados FRH, a stallion (an ‘intact’ male horse). Finally, the fourth position, for the United States, went to Laura Graves, riding Verdades, another gelding.
The bottom line? When women compete successfully with men in sport, at the top level, they’ve probably been carried by males, most of them castrated. An obvious parallel in British politics would be the female MPs appointed from all-women shortlists, e.g. Jess Bloody-Phillips.