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On Saturday 10th April 2021, Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win Britain’s gruelling Grand National horse race, breaking down one of the biggest gender barriers in sport.

Blackmore, a 31-year-old Irishwoman, rode Minella Times to a landmark victory on Saturday in the 173rd edition of the famous steeplechase at Aintree in Liverpool, northwest England.

I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human. This is just unbelievable. Rachael Blackmore

Blackmore is the 20th female jockey to compete in a race that has been a mud-splattered British sporting institution since 1839.

Grand National-winning rider Rachael Blackmore says she hopes her historic victory at Aintree helps consign the tag of being a female jockey to history.

The 31-year-old has consistently deflected comments about her gender and said that despite becoming the first woman to win the race, that fact didn’t cross her mind in the moment.

Blackmore also says that if a rider is good enough then there are equal opportunities for men and women in the sport.

In recent decades there have been prominent figures in racing who thought that women should not ride in the Grand National, but Blackmore says she feels fortunate that attitudes – and opportunities – have changed.

“For me in racing it’s been extremely level,” she said. “I think the achievements of Nina Carberry and Katie Walsh, when I entered the weighing room were so big that the gender thing was never an issue.

“I’ve just carried that forward. For me personally it’s never been an experience I have had in racing in recent times, and that’s something that racing should be very proud of.”