Even with more than 180 years of racing tradition, fairy-tale firsts still can materialize out of the mud at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. Rachael Blackmore proved that by becoming the first female jockey to win the English Grand National.
Canceled last year due to the pandemic, the historic race resumed without spectators on April 10 with a starting list of 40 horses. After jumping the 30th and final fence on the 4-plus-mile track, Blackmore and Minella Times surged to the lead in front of Balko Des Flos.
“I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human,” the 31-year-old Irishwoman told the press. “This is just unbelievable.”
Only after the Sex Discrimination Act passed in 1975 have women been allowed to ride in the Grand National. Blackmore is the 20th woman to tackle the Aintree fences. Until her win, Katie Walsh held the best finish for a female jockey, coming in third in 2012.
“I never even imagined I’d get a ride in this race, never mind get my hands on the trophy,” Blackmore said.
Watch how Blackmore and the 8-year-old Irish-bred Thoroughbred (Oscar—Triptoshan, Anshan), owned by J.P. McManus and trained by Henry De Bromhead, galloped into the history books:
Video courtesy of Racing TV