OLIVER HOLT: Rachael Blackmore’s big national victory shows that the glass ceiling has been shattered

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OLIVER HOLT: Rachael Blackmore’s historic victory at the Grand National shows that the glass ceiling has been shattered … it was a victory that made gender irrelevant in horse racing

  • Rachael Blackmore’s Grand National victory shattered the glass ceiling
  • The first female race winner has proven that gender is irrelevant in horse racing
  • Blackmore’s win was so special because of how iconic the Grand National is

Rachael Blackmore said it was better than anyone ever could when she became the first female jockey to win the most famous horse race in the world.

“I don’t feel like a man or a woman now,” she said after winning the Grand National on board Minella Times. “I don’t even feel human.”

Perhaps her win came as no surprise after becoming the lead jockey at the Cheltenham Festival last month, but winning the Grand National still felt like one of the most important milestones for female athletes in the accelerated quest for respect and equality.

Rachael Blackmore’s win at this year’s Grand National made gender irrelevant in horse racing

Her win may not have come as a surprise, but it's still a milestone for female athletes

Her win may not have come as a surprise, but it's still a milestone for female athletes

Her win may not have come as a surprise, but it’s still a milestone for female athletes

It was a victory that made gender irrelevant in horse races. There will be no more male jockeys and female jockeys. There will only be jockeys.

The citadels of the male conjecture in the National Hunt races have now fallen. Blackmore has conquered Cheltenham and Aintree and if the Gold Cup is still the most cherished prize for a jockey, the Grand National is the race considered the sport’s crown jewel in the rest of the world.

It is engraved in our sports history. Immortality is bestowed on those jockeys who win and many of the best never do.

It is considered the ultimate test of bravery and endurance in racing and one of the most rigorous tests of bravery in the sport anywhere. That’s why Blackmore’s win was so memorable.

The prejudices that a few harbor against stars like Blackmore have proved unfounded

If a female jockey can win the National, she can win anything. The glass ceiling has been shattered. The objections have turned out to be unfounded.

The prejudices that a dwindling couple may still harbor against stars of the sport like Blackmore and Bryony Frost have been stripped of the last vestiges of their credibility.

Men and women are equal in racing and now that Blackmore has won the National, nothing can ever change that.

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