Magnolia Cup winner, Khadijah Mellah, accepts honorary degree

November 2021

Image for press release - Khadijah Mellah wearing Honorary Degree uniform
(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle University College in Essex has awarded an honorary degree to Khadijah Mellah, winner of the 2019 Magnolia Cup at Goodwood.

On October 29th, Khadijah attended the University College's first in-person graduation ceremony since 2019.

The event, which has held at Chelmsford's historic Cathedral, celebrated the success of the classes of 2020 and 2021 and highlighted Khadijah's impressive achievements.

Writtle University College Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Middleton, said: "We were delighted to confer honorary awards as part of our graduation ceremony. Khadijah Mellah has motivated and inspired young people to achieve both their academic and sporting potential."

Khadijah learnt to ride at Ebony Horse Club in Brixton. At the age of 18, just a few months after she first sat on a racehorse, Khadijah became the first British Muslim woman to win a horse race.

The Riding a Dream Academy, named after a documentary about Khadijah's story, was inspired by her success and helps young people from under-represented urban areas to pursue a career in racing.

Khadijah now acts as an ambassador for Great British Racing while also studying mechanical engineering.

Khadijah said: "I feel extremely privileged to be receiving this honorary degree and to now be connected to Writtle University College. I hope I have encouraged the graduates to open doors to opportunities with confidence as they continue through life. I cannot wait to work with Writtle in the future and lend a helping hand to all students trying to get into the equestrian world."

Writtle University College offers a wide range of equine courses at college and university level, including a recently-launched and highly popular MSc in Equine Performance Science. For more information on equine programmes or the specialist equine facilities available at WUC's countryside estate, visit