Rachel Blackmore Wins The Grand National At Aintree
Being the first ever female jockey to win the Grand National, in the world’s most famous steeplechase, Rachel Blackmore made sporting history on Minella Times.
Trained by Henry de Bromhead, this 31 year old Irish rider scored a fascinating triumph aboard the 11-1 chance, after which she said “I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human,”.
On 10 April 2021 she made her dreams come true by achieving this landmark success.
This daughter of a dairy farmer and a school teacher has been riding ponies throughout her whole childhood and, right after the triumph, she added “My first memory of racing was when I was about seven or eight watching the Grand National round a friend’s house and it had that special kind of hype,”
Balko Des Flos ended in second place ahead of Any Second Now and Burrows Saint.
At last month’s Cheltenham Festival, Blackmore had her first major victory as she became the first woman to be the leading jockey, but her latest result outshines it all.
Back in 1997, Charlotte Brew made history as the first woman to ride at the Grand National, on her horse Barony Fort. This happened thanks to the passing of the Sex Discrimination Act in 1975.
Out of a total of 35 runners, eighteen other women have ridden in the race, but their chances started increasing just over the past few years. And today, Blackmore’s success is a clear indicator that the things in the industry are changing.
Even though she is the first woman ever to hold the title of the Grand National winner, Blackmore modestly says “I just hope it shows it doesn’t matter, male or female. Plenty of people have gone before me and done that – Katie Walsh was third here on Seabass. All those things help girls coming along, but I don’t think it’s a major talking point any more.”