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Diary: Wonder women - here's the top 100 for Newmarket's new exhibition


By Alice Ryan


Rock star Suzi Quatro. Boxer Nicola Adams. House of Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd. TV’s Victoria Coren-Mitchell. Jockey Hayley Turner. What, you may fairly wonder, unites them? All have chalked up a world first for women – and, as a result, all have been photographed by Anita Corbin for 100 First Women, the new exhibition at Newmarket’s Palace House.

Created last year, to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which finally granted women the vote, every picture in the show is arresting in its own way: Antarctic skier Felicity Aston peers out from a fur-lined hood; Winter Paralympian Kelly Gallagher stands on the pinnacle of a mountain; Lt Catherine Ker, Royal Navy mine diver, trains the viewer with her gun.

“From ages 18 to 102 and in fields of expertise covering everything from beatboxing to bomb detection, I wanted to create an impressive visual story of female potential; fantastic role models that will hopefully inspire other women and men, of all generations, now and in the future,” Anita explains. “In a long history dominated by notable males, 100 First Women asks: ‘What is it about women that can inspire you?’”

Anita – who’s been a professional photographer for more than three decades, been published in The Sunday Times, The Observer and Elle, and has works hanging in the National Portrait Gallery – is showing the portraits at Palace House, the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, until June.

“I have created these powerful images to offer emotional support to women who seek to be the best they can be,” she adds. “Those women who want to aim high will look at my pictures and see they are not alone.”

For more information, including opening times, visit palacehousenewmarket.co.uk

Felicity Aston, first woman to ski solo across Antarctica

CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286108)
CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286108)

Hayley Turner, first woman to win a Group One race outright – and clock up 100 winners in a single year

CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286121)
CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286121)

Kelly Gallagher, first woman to win British Winter Paralympic Gold

CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286135)
CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286135)

Rt Hon. Betty Boothroyd, first woman Speaker of the House of Commons

Corbin O'Grady Studio (7286054)
Corbin O'Grady Studio (7286054)

Lt Catherine Ker, first woman to qualify as a mine warfare and clearance diving officer in the Royal Navy

CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286132)
CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286132)

Nicola Adams MBE, first woman to win British Olympic and European Games boxing Gold

CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286147)
CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286147)

Suzi Quatro, first woman to play bass in and front a rock and roll band

Corbin O'Grady Studio (7286151)
Corbin O'Grady Studio (7286151)

Victoria Coren-Mitchell, first woman to win the European Poker Tour

CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286153)
CORBIN O'GRADY STUDIO (7286153)


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