Horse Riding

TY Legacy Programme: Why I Admire Rachael Blackmore

This entry is by Rose from Loreto College Mullingar, Westmeath!

Rachael Blackmore is an extremely talented jockey who has been internationally recognised for her amazing sporting achievements.

She recently won the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and  was the first ever female jockey to win this race. Along with this, she came second on A Plus Tard in the Gold Cup. These two races alone amounted to her being recognised globally as one of the best jockey’s, male or female. 

Rachael Blackmore became the first woman to win the Champion Hurdle. Photo credit- PA.
Rachael Blackmore became the first woman to win the Champion Hurdle. Photo credit- PA.

Blackmore is an incredibly inspiring role model to me as I really like her way of showing the world she is just as good as any male jockey. She shows this in many ways but mostly known as a Latin phrase ‘res, non verba’- actions not words. She has worked incredibly hard to have had such fabulous achievements at Cheltenham and elsewhere.

Along with her amazing talent and hard work she manages to relate to many female jockeys and how she does so is quite simply she doesn’t draw the attention to her gender instead she draws the attention to her astonishing success.

“I don’t feel male or female right now, I don’t even feel human. This is just unbelievable,” said Blackmore to ITV in the immediate aftermath of the race.

“This is a massive deal for me personally, not the fact I’m a female. The thing that hit me when I crossed the line was that I’d won the National, not that I’m the first female to win the National. I’m just delighted.”-Rachael Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore now has the power to influence many people and their attitudes and language towards jockeys of ‘ALL’ genders and so does this in the best of ways in my opinion.

Another vital point Rachael made was she was one of the first generations that had female sporting role models to aspire to be like. In an interview she mentioned her role models were Kate Walsh and Nina Carberry who were two very famous jockeys. She said this played a big role in her career as she had women to look up too.

Many current initiatives such as #ifyoucantseeityoucantbeit are helping this matter become more recognised. Rachael sees the importance they play in sport and by illustrating how this helped her in her career will show others why it’s needed.

She also said that having the two jockeys mentioned above riding in races before managed to slightly change the stigma around female jockeys.

She didn’t come from a horsing background and therefore in some ways was deprived of opportunities others had but she only ever used this as an opportunity to show people her talent. Katy Walsh said she was always very positive and modest. She describes her taking horses to point to points and people commenting on that and all she would say something like this was a way to learn new things and have new opportunities. It seems to me in researching her, that she took anything in her stride.

She states she never dreamt of becoming professional and stayed amateur for a good long time but she simply just said the work wasn’t there to make this possible. As a result of this she turned professional and she mentioned how much more time she had to get practice in. Personally I think she wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this without becoming professional and therefore that shows me that women in most other sports are at such a disadvantage.

Rachael Blackmore

By researching Rachael Blackmore I have recognised what an extremely talented role model she is and what tremendous contributions she is making to women in sport.

Along with all this very positive conclusion  above Blackmore has brought attention and debate to various people on the issue of women being enabled to become professional in many sports throughout the world.

Would more women in other sports be able to achieve this level of success if professionalism became more accessible for more women in sport?

Well personally I think so…..

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a media platform centred on bringing the latest Irish and international women’s sports news. Her Sport aims to empower women in sport, inspire more female participation, increase opportunity and level the playing field for future generations. Our objective is to create real and tangible change.
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