By Aliki Kraterou
The world’s first transgender jockey may be outstanding in her field but she still can’t find love – despite spending £3,000 on a pair of brand new boobs.
Vicky Smith made history in May last year at The Jockey Club Challenge at Warwick Racecourse – becoming the first person to ride professionally at horse races both as a man and a woman after previous spending 17 years as a male jockey.
The 53-year-old, formerly known as Vince, started hormone therapy in January 2017 and transitioned to living full-time as a woman one year later.
But despite paying £4,500 on lower eyelid surgery in March and a breast augmentation op in August, she claims she still can’t find a partner because women reject her as soon as they find out she is transgender.
Suffolk-based Vicky, who has not yet had full genital surgery, said despite joining numerous online dating sites she hasn’t had a single date since becoming a woman.
She said: “I have had a great life as a jockey, I can’t complain.
“But there was something I had to live with, I was forced to suppress my feelings for a long time.
“In my younger days I couldn’t understand how it was possible for me to not just be attracted to females but want to be like them too.
“However, since I transitioned, it’s been very difficult to find someone who is attracted to me.
“As a man, I was lucky to have very good-looking girlfriends – but I have transitioned for over a year now and I would like to have someone in my life.
“Some people I meet are nicer than others – but to this day I still haven’t had a proper date.
“The biggest difficulty women have is accepting being with someone who is transgender- some people are nice, carry on with the conversation.
“Some of them ask if I have had the full operation and say ‘sorry, you’re not my type’ when they find out I haven’t.
“I think going through with the operation will increase my chances of finding someone.
“They have more to think about than I do – they have to be strong enough in their own minds about dating someone who is transgender.
“They have to keep their minds open, to be sensitive and they have to be understanding as in all relationships.
“Finding someone is hard enough already but for me it is even harder – because it’s not only about finding someone, it’s about having a connection with them as well.
“I know the fears people have over explaining to other people they are in a relationship with someone who is transgender.”
Vicky, who was born in Malta due to her father’s job in the forces, grew up in London.
Her first serious relationship was aged 17 and lasted five years – the couple got engaged, but Vicky said she was forced to ‘suppress her feelings’.
As a man, Vicky never married or have any children but had three long-term relationships with women who are now her very good friends – including one which lasted seven years, her last as a man.
So far, Vicky has tried online dating sites Cupid and Zoosk to look for a partner, as well as trying Tinder – but said as soon as women find out she is trans and hasn’t yet had her final surgery, they reject her.
Vicky: “I must admit, my last relationship was damaged by what was going on in my mind.
“Whenever I was having bad times, suppressing my feelings would always come back strong.
“But I figured it out, and we remain good friends.
“After ending my last long-term relationship, I took a year thinking over what I was going to do before embarking on my trans journey.”
Due to the high cost of UK plastic surgery, Vicky operated to have her eyelid and breast operations at Europe Surgery in Poland in March after a year of taking hormones, due to prices there being a third of UK rates.
She now plans to raise up to £3,500 to transplant her hair follicles later this year before undergoing a full sex reassignment surgery in the next couple of years in the either in the UK, where it would cost £15,000 to £25,000, Thailand, or India, where the op costs just £7,500 on average.
Vicki, who also trained race horses for seven years, said: “I am in my early stages of my transition and I wanted to improve my facial features – especially in my age, I needed to improve my looks.
“I wanted to look more feminine – and the first thing that someone looks at is the face, so I thought the first thing I had to do was to get my eyes lifted.
“I had major results and couldn’t have been more pleased.
“They look very good, I have a lot of confidence now and I feel more fulfilled.
“After both surgeries I felt absolutely amazing, I have had so many compliments- I feel excitement and happiness.
“If I could afford it, I would have the new surgery tomorrow.
“I don’t regret anything.
“Society has been more accepting towards transgender people and we are getting recognised, but unfortunately we are still discriminated in many areas and there is a lot to be done.”
For more info on surgery: https://europesurgery.co.uk/