Rachael Blackmore becomes 1st female jockey to win Grand National

Sports

Rachael Blackmore ridding Minella Times clears the last fence to win the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase on the third day of the Grand National Horse Racing meeting at Aintree racecourse, near Liverpool, England, Saturday April 10, 2021. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Rachael Blackmore broke down one of the biggest gender barriers in sports by becoming the first female jockey to win the grueling Grand National horse race.

Rachael Blackmore ridding Minella Times clears the last fence to win the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase on the third day of the Grand National Horse Racing meeting at Aintree racecourse, near Liverpool, England, Saturday April 10, 2021.

Blackmore, a 31-year-old Irishwoman, rode Minella Times to victory at odds of 11-1 at Aintree on Saturday in the 173rd edition of the famous steeplechase run.

“I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human,” Blackmore said. “This is just unbelievable.”

Female jockeys have only been allowed to enter and race in the National since 1975, when the Sex Discrimination Act was passed.

Blackmore is the 20th female jockey to compete in a race that has been a mud-splattered British sporting institution since 1839, one that even non-horse racing enthusiasts turn on to watch.

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Katie Walsh has the best finish for a female rider, when third on Seabass in 2012.

Blackmore has become the new face of British and Irish horse racing. Three weeks ago, she became the first woman to finish as the leading jockey at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival.

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