Rachael Blackmore was amazed to receive congratulatory messages from tennis legend Billie Jean King and musician Ringo Starr after becoming the first female jockey to win the Grand National.
Blackmore, who led the Minella Times to victory at Aintree, said her feat still hasn’t come to fruition, but she believes the victory will likely change her life forever.
“I don’t think you get much more famous than Ringo Starr and Billie Jean King,” she said. Sky Sports News. “It’s amazing that these people wish you luck and congratulate you on your accomplishments.
“It’s hard to understand that they even know my name. It’s amazing. I have so many good wishes from so many different people, people who send cards and letters that I don’t even know. . It’s just fantastic support and everyone has been so nice. “
Blackmore, 31, is both humble and modest. She grew up on a farm in County Tipperary and has always had a love for horses, an animal that she says gave her some of the best days of her life.
As a youngster she took part in pony club games, but her dream was to always be a jockey. Blackmore now wants to encourage other young people in the sport.
“Even making a lap in the Grand National is difficult, let alone winning it,” she said. “It’s so far removed from anything that I thought was a real realistic possibility.
“In fact, you can’t dream big enough. I dreamed of being a jockey and participating in these races, but I don’t know if I could have even dreamed of winning them. It’s just crazy what can happen. You can dream as big as you want I think “.
When Blackmore crossed the finish line at Aintree, she says she didn’t even register that she was the first female jockey to win the Grand National.
“In racing and equestrian sports in general, we are working on equal pay and equal opportunities,” she said.
“I think we should all be very proud of that. It’s not something that is generalized across the board, but it’s in riding and racing, so being proud of that is something that we should all be “.
In recent weeks, Blackmore has not only won the Grand National, but she has also finished with six winners at the Cheltenham Festival, meaning she has won the Ruby Walsh Trophy for leading the Cheltenham jockey.
She has been described by many as a trailblazer. Growing up, his idols were like jockeys Charlie Swan, Davy Russell and Ruby Walsh. But now she’s fully up there.
It is even said that she should receive a lady, to whom she responded in her generally modest manner.
“I actually thought it was a bit of a rumor or a joke,” she said. “It just feels out of this world to me. You’d have to see it to believe it, I think something like that might be possible.”
If there’s anything the 31-year-old has proven in recent days, it’s that anything is possible.