It can be hard to deny, but Rachael Blackmore is a bit of a superstar when it comes to horse racing. Having ridden some 90 winners so far, the twenty-nine-year-old is at the top of her career according to Blackbook.com.au reports today.
Hailing from Killenaule in Co Tipperary, she has certainly had success, including her first win at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year in March. She was riding a horse called A Plus Tard, she described the win as something that every jockey dreams about.
Having turned professional in 2015, the first woman since Maria Cullen back in the 1980's to have done so, she has certainly broken the mould when it comes to female jockeys. She has previously made history with a win at the Conditional Riders Championship back in 2017, the first woman ever to do so. She has also set a record for the most wins in a single season by a female jockey. She came a close second to Paul Townend in last seasons jockey championship.
Blackmore has become something of an icon for horse racing, and this now includes being a brand ambassador for Kildare Village as well as a role model for young women in racing.
She is a model of being calm, cool and collected. During an interview, she was noticed to have an injury, and the interviewer enquired about it only for her to respond “just a broken nose, collarbone and wrist – not much” with such an air of nonchalance that must have been hiding how painful the injuries would have been. She went on to say “I don’t think about injuries. If you start thinking about what could go wrong, it is not the job for you,”
That doesn’t mean that she isn’t aware of just what could go wrong while riding, not just for the jockeys but for the horses as well. She knows that seven horses died at Cheltenham this year, and she also mentions Robbie McNamara who previously won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but who now uses a wheelchair following an accident while riding. She goes on to speak about former jockey Joseph O’Brien saying “He is now training and says he gets more enjoyment from training than riding, and that tells you something about how tough our lifestyle is.”
But she works hard for her success, spending her days riding out in the morning, racing in the afternoon and hitting the gym for strength and fitness, all keeping her in tiptop shape.