County of origin: Tipperary
First winner: Stowaway Pearl ('Shark' Hanlon) Thurles, February 10th, 2011
Jockeys' Championship runner-up: 2018/2019 (90 winners), 2020/2021 (92 winners)
Aintree Grand National winner: Minella Times (Henry de Bromhead) April 10, 2021
Leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival: 2021 (6 winners)
Assoc. trainers: Henry De Bromhead, Willie Mullins, 'Shark' Hanlon
HRI Award winner: National Hunt Achievement Award (2018); National Hunt Award (2019); National Hunt Award (2020); Irish Racing Hero Award (2021)
BBC Sports Personality's World Sport Star of the Year: 2021
RTE Sports Personality of the Year: 2021
Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year: 2021
Significant horses (selected): Minella Times, Honeysuckle, Minella Indo, A Plus Tard, Allaho, Bob Olinger, Sir Gerhard, Tellmesomethinggirl, Quilixios, Monalee, Chris's Dream, Patricks Park, Poker Party, Abolitionist, Merie Devie, Ballyegan Hero, Davids Charm, True Self, Supreme Vinnie, Is She Diesel, Icantsay, Moon Over Germany, Dommage Pour Toi, Oriental Eagle.
Follow Rachael on Twitter: @rachaelblackmor
Did you know:
From Killenaule, County Tipperary, Rachael Blackmore is one of the leading National Hunt jockeys in Ireland and Britain. She has rewritten racing's history books on a number of occasions during her career.
Rachael became the first female to ride the winner of the Aintree Grand National, taking the race on the Henry de Bromhead-trained Minella Times in April 2021. Just three weeks earlier she was the first woman to the ride the winner of a championship race at the Cheltenham Festival when partnering de Bromhead's Honeysuckle to success in the Champion Hurdle. Honeysuckle was one of six winners for Rachael at that year's Festival, enough to see her crowned as the Leading Jockey, the first woman to win the award.
Rachael again broke new ground when partnering A Plus Tard to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup for trained Henry de Bromhead in 2022. The first female to ride the winner of the race, she was the first jockey since Tony McCoy in 1997 to ride the winner of the Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup in the same year, following on from her success on Honeysuckle three days earlier.
Rachael rode 11 point-to-point winners and seven winners as an amateur rider
before turning professional in March, 2015. She gained her first success in the paid ranks when Most
Honourable, trained by ‘Shark’ Hanlon, was a winner at Clonmel on September 3rd
of the same year. Hanlon had also provided Blackmore with her initial success
as an amateur rider when Stowaway Pearl won at Thurles on February 10, 2011.
Rachael enjoyed a notable winner and gained a her first big success when partnering the Ellmarie
Holden-trained Abolitionist to land the €100,000 Download The Ladbrokes Exchange
App Leinster National Handicap Chase at Naas on March 12, 2017. With 32 winners, she became the first woman to win the Conditional Riders’ title in the 2016/2017 season.
Rachael rode her first winner on the Flat when taking a conditions' race at Killarney on May 16, 2017 on the Denise O'Shea-trained Supreme Vinnie. She rode out her claim when winning the Oulart Maiden Hurdle on the Colin Bowe-trained Sweet Home Chicago at Wexford on June 21, 2017. It was her 60th racecourse success.
She rode the first treble of her career when partnering Theatre Dreams, Monbeg Chit Chat and Classic Theatre to win at at Tipperary on Sunday, July 22, 2018. All three were trained by Henry De Bromhead. A second treble came at Gowran Park in February of the following year where among her winners was the De Bromhead-trained Monalee in the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase. It was her first Grade 2 winner over fences and remarkably she got a second 24 hours later at Navan where Chris's Dream landed the Ladbrokes Ten Up Novice Chase, another trained by the County Waterford handler.
A Plus Tard gave Rachael her first (of 15, as of 2022) Cheltenham Festival success when landing the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase in March, 2019. Henry de Bromhead's five-year-old went off a 5/1 favourite and won by a startling 16 lengths. On the final day of the same Festival, Rachael gained her first Grade 1 success when Minella Indo landed the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, becoming the first woman to ride a Grade 1 winner over hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival. Rachael won the Grade 1 Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle at the Festival on the Henry De Bromhead-trained Honeysuckle the following year and the same mare would go on to give her back-to-back Champion Hurdle wins in 2021 and 2022.
Rachael's first Grade 1 success in Ireland came on the de Bromhead-trained Honeysuckle in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019. She ended that season with 90 winners, easily securing the runner-up spot in the jockeys' championship behind Paul Townend and finished third to the Corkman in the 2019/2020 season which was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Oriental Eagle gave her a notable success when taking the Listed Martin Molony Stakes at Limerick on June 17, 2020. It was Rachael's first Listed winner on the Flat.
Rachael took the 2021 Cheltenham Festival by storm and emerged as the leading jockey at the meeting for the first time with six winners. In addition to her famous Champion Hurdle success on Honeysuckle, she won the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle on Bob Olinger, the Grade 1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper on Sir Gerhard, the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase on Allaho, the Grade 2 Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on Tellmesomethinggirl and the Grade 1 JCB Triumph Hurdle on Quilixios.
Three weeks later, she was a history maker once again when becoming the first female to ride the winner of the Randox Grand National at Aintree as she and Minella Times gave Hendy de Bromhead his first success in the race and owner JP McManus a second win in the iconic event. Her achievement was hailed as one of the greatest in the sport's history prompting President Michael D Higgins to say: "My congratulations to Rachael Blackmore on an historic achievement at Aintree. Today's win is both a personal and sporting success, and comes only a month after her ground-breaking wins at Cheltenham."
Rachael finished runner-up in the Jockeys' Championship for the second time in the 2020/2021 season but ended the term on a personal best of 92 winners, eight behind Paul Townend.
Rachael was the winner of the BBC Sports Personality's World Sport Star of the Year for 2021. She topped on online public vote, beating off competition from Mexican boxer Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, American football legend Tom Brady, Serbia's world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah and Dutch Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen to become the first Irish winner of the award.
In December 2021, Rachael was also the winner of the HRI Racing Hero Award, The Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year and the RTE Sportsperson of the Year.