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Irishwoman Rachael Blackmore becomes first female jockey to win Grand National horse race

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Rachael Blackmore riding Minella Times wins the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase. Aintree racecourse, near Liverpool, England. April 10, 2021.
Rachael Blackmore riding Minella Times wins the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase. Aintree racecourse, near Liverpool, England. April 10, 2021.   -   Copyright  Peter Powell/AP
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Rachael Blackmore has smashed through one of the biggest gender barriers in sports by becoming the first female jockey to win the UK's gruelling Grand National horse race.

The 31-year-old Irishwoman rode Minella Times to victory at odds of 11-1 at the Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside, north-west England on Saturday.

She was taking part in the 173rd edition of the famous steeplechase run.

“I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human,” Blackmore said. “This is just unbelievable.”

Female jockeys have only been allowed to enter and race in the National since 1975, when the Sex Discrimination Act was passed.

Blackmore is the 20th female jockey to compete in a race that has been a mud-splattered British sporting institution since 1839, one that even non-horse racing enthusiasts turn on to watch.

Katie Walsh previously logged the best finish for a female rider, coming in third on Seabass in 2012.

Blackmore has become the new face of British and Irish horse racing.

Three weeks ago, she became the first woman to finish as the leading jockey at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival.