Racheal Blackmore, aged just twenty-nine has achieved a lot as a female jockey and having ridden some ninety winners, she certainly makes it look easy, but it is anything but. BlackBook.com.au is looking into her as a person.
Born in Co Tipperary in a town called Killenaule, she has taken the horse racing world by storm, not only winning ninety plus races but also picking up a win earlier this year at the historic Cheltenham Festival, back in March. She might have ended the race tired and splattered with mud, much like her horse for that race ‘A Plus Tard’ but she knows it was something that every jockey dreams about.
She turned professional back in 2015. The first time that a woman has done so since Maria Cullen did back in the eighties. Since then she has been breaking the mould with historic wins at every turn. She even managed a win at the Conditional Riders Championship in 2017, making her the first women ever to do so. She has also followed that up by setting a single-season record for most wins in one season, which placed her as a champion jockey in the National Hunt season, where she finished second only to Paul Townend.
When she is not racing, she has become a bit of a fashion model as a sports brand ambassador for Kildare Village and has recently done a photoshoot for them at the famous Curragh Racecourse in Co Kildare. The iconic racecourse is boasting of having just finished a €17M refurbishment to bring its facilities right up to date, with some of the best features in the world — something to mirror the world-class racing that takes place at the track.
Even while modelling, she is very calm and collected and in control of what she wants to do. An example of this came up when the photographer on the shoot noticed that she was nursing an injury and asked her about it, only for her to respond by saying “[its] just a broken nose, collarbone and wrist – not much” Only someone with great awareness and composure could answer with such an air of nonchalance. She is aware of what can happen while riding though and went on to say “I don’t think about injury. If you start thinking about what could go wrong, it is not the job for you,”
She knows that the sport can be dangerous for jockeys and horses alike. At the Cheltenham Gold Cup this year, she knows that seven horses lost their lives, and she is also aware of fellow jockeys that have suffered extensive injuries, she mentions the former Gold Cup Winner Robbie McNamara. He now uses a wheelchair to get around after having had an accident on the track. She also talks about fellow jockey Joseph O’Brien, of whom, she says “He is now training and says he gets more enjoyment from training than riding, and that tells you something about working day to day. The jockey just rocks up for the glory of the day a lot of the time.”