Five of the country’s leading female jockeys were announced today as the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National ‘Leading Ladies of Racing’. Nina Carberry, Kate Harrington, Jane Mangan, Liz Lalor and Katie Walsh are all well known faces in the winner’s enclosure at race meetings around the country and all have unique links with the Grand National were chosen by leading racing journalists. Never before were there more ladies in the old traditionally male dominated weighroom as we now regularly see our two leading lady riders Nina Carberry and Katie Walsh winning top races at the racing Olympics which is Cheltenham and the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
The Ladbrokes Irish Grand National Easter Festival which takes place from Sunday 8th - Tuesday 10th April at Fairyhouse racecourse is one of the most prestigious and valuable handicap steeplechases in Ireland, and a firm fixture in racegoers diaries. Nina Carberry became the second woman in history to win the race when she rode the Arthur Moore trained Organisedconfusion to victory in 2011. Speaking of her hopes for this year’s Ladbrokes Irish Grand National, Nina said: “You’re not always lucky enough to get a ride in it. I was very lucky to get a ride in it last year and to win it was just very special”.
Horse Racing Ireland has also commissioned a piece of footage entitled ‘Nina’s Backstage Pass’ in which Nina gives racegoers and the general public a behind- the- scenes look at the work undertaken by women in the industry. Speaking of her involvement with the ‘Backstage Pass’ on-line video, Nina said: “I am happy to be involved and think it is a great way to recognise the hard work done by women in the industry”. See www.goracing.ie/leadingladies for more information.
There is strong public interest in the sport, which saw 1.2m people attend race meetings last year. Ladies days are always a popular feature of the big festivals but women also feature strongly in the day to day running of the industry, which employs over 16,500 people in Ireland.
Michelle O'Grady, Head of Marketing at Ladbrokes said "The Ladbrokes Irish Grand National is known as one of the great racing occasions for decades and has always been a fantastic occasion for families. The Irish have always had the best Owners, Breeders, Trainers, Jockeys and races in the world and of course it goes without saying that we have the best Lady riders who compete regularly for the best prizes in the best races in the world".
Tamso Doyle, PR Manager for HRI commented on the new initiative: “Nina’s Backstage Pass was done to give both racegoers and members of the general public a behind-the-scenes look at the work done by some of the top professional women in the industry, many who you wouldn’t necessarily see on a raceday. These five Leading Lady riders Nina, Katie, Jane, Liz and Kate are dedicated, talented and tough which has put them at the top of their sport and are blazing the trail created by the likes of Joanna Morgan, Liz Doyle, Caroline Hutchison, Clare McMahon, Anne Marie and Frances Crowley to name a few and we wish them every success.”
Click on a Jockey's name to view the jockey's profile:
or view the video for: Nina's Backstage Pass.