Cheltenham champion and Grand National hopeful Rachael Blackmore wants to be treated the same as men

Rachael Blackmore on one of her Cheltenham winners Quilixios (Image: Getty)

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Cheltenham champion Rachael Blackmore said she doesn’t see herself as a trailblazing female jockey – and wants to be treated the same as her male competitors.

Rachael, 31, first made history by becoming the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle, aboard Honeysuckle, on the opening day of the festival this year.

She then went on to be the first woman crowned the top jockey at Cheltenham with six wins.

However, Rachael said she doesn’t like being treated differently to male jockeys.

She said: “I want to be treated as just a normal jockey. I'm not doing the running.

“If I was a sprinter and I was beating Usain Bolt I'd want it to be made a big deal because that would be pretty unreal.

“But I'm on horse back so there's a lot more to it than just the physical strength of someone.

"There's a lot more to race riding and to being a jockey so I try not to make a big deal of it.”

The Tipperary native also said she hasn’t allowed her success to go to her head since her Cheltenham wins – and thinks horse racing has kept her grounded.

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Speaking on The Laughs of Your Life podcast, she said: “Racing has a very quick way of bringing you back down to earth.

“You might win a big race and then half an hour later get a fall in the next race.

“It has a way of levelling you out and things change very quickly.

“You’re on top one minute but it can all change quickly.

“Life experience as a jockey doesn’t allow you to get carried away.

“I’m living an unbelievable life right now.

“I never thought I’d be able to do this as my career so I’m just going to enjoy it and see what happens when it ends. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

The Tipperary native also said she hasn’t allowed her success to go to her head since her Cheltenham wins – and thinks horse-racing has kept her grounded.
(Image: ©INPHO/Dan Abraham)

Golden girl Rachael said her family is still celebrating her Cheltenham success – and hopes her parents will put up photographs of her horse-racing wins in their home after she missed her graduation.

She said: “I didn’t go to my graduation because I was racing. It was a no-brainer for me.

“My mam isn’t one bit happy. She can put a picture of me at Cheltenham up there now. She’ll be okay.

“My mam and dad are getting a great kick out of everything that happened in Cheltenham.

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“My sister is studying for Blackhall place exams to become a solicitor and my brother is a graphic designer in New York.

“They’re both getting a kick out of it. Celebrations will be in good time I hope.”

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