In just two years, Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore has won the world’s three most prestigious horse races. This is despite the fact that no woman has ever won these competitions.
Jockeys who have won the coveted BBC International Sportsperson of the Year award are rare. But, in 2021, Rachael Blackmore became the second woman to make the prestigious list, alongside Roger Federer and Usain Bolt. This is a prime example of her ability to turn sports history on its head.
A tough self-made jockey
Raised on a farm, Rachael Blackmore did not come from a horse-riding background, and nothing predisposed her to become a legend. Her beginnings in amateur show jumping were even rather timid, with only 18 wins in 6 years.
Against all odds, the young Irish rider decided to make a living out of her passion for horses and enter the professional world in 2015. She is 26 years old, which is quite old to be on the big horse racing scene, but there is no stopping her from pursuing her dream.
2021-2022: the incredible triple
After encouraging wins in 2017, she joined Henry de Bromhead’s stable. Things accelerated in 2021, a historic year for her and horse racing. Rachael won the Champion Hurdle, but above all, the mythical Grand National, a race that is almost two centuries old and has never been won by a woman. She repeated this feat in the Gold Cup in 2022, breaking the last barrier in this very male-dominated world.