Rachael Blackmore’s mother has recorded an emotional video paying tribute to her superstar jockey daughter on the eve of this year’s Randox Grand National.
The 32 year old made history last year by becoming the first female rider to win the world’s greatest steeplechase when she partnered Minella Times to victory.
Twelve months later - and after rewriting the history books again last month by winning the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup – she and Minella Times are bidding to repeat the feat.
To celebrate her incredible achievements, Blackmore’s mum Eimir has penned “A letter to my daughter” and recorded it as a voiceover for a video put together by The Jockey Club, which owns Aintree Racecourse and stages the Randox Grand National.
In it she pays tribute to Blackmore’s resilience, determination and humility and reveals her own phone “nearly melted” after her daughter’s groundbreaking success at the Cheltenham Festival in 2021.
Eimir, an English teacher, still lives in Killenaule in County Tipperary - where Blackmore grew up - with her husband and the jockey’s father Charles.
In the film she says: “From the moment Rachael was born we knew it was going to be an adventure. She couldn’t wait to get going. Growing up on a farm fostered a love of animals and horses were always a big part of Rachael’s life.
“Before she was one she’d been to a point to point meeting and it wasn’t long until she was out riding her first pony was called ‘Bubbles’. She was fantastic, but she had no brakes. This never worried her.
“As the years passed her love for riding grew. Although it took a while to find success on the track she never gave up. She was competitive and would say “in whose world is second any good?”
“Eventually the winners started to come - 2021 was an unforgettable year with six winners at Cheltenham! My phone nearly melted that week. I was proud that she gave us something to cheer during the pandemic. Everyone needed a lift.
“Next it was Aintree and the Grand National. All the stars aligned, and it was ‘dream time’.
“The first time I met her after Aintree, I arrived home to find the Grand National trophy on the kitchen table and Rachael in the yard with Charles holding a mare who was having her feet trimmed.
“The fairytale continued at Cheltenham in 2022. Next up, the biggest prize of all, the Gold Cup - I had to pinch myself after that one.
“Despite the successes, Rachael remains true to herself. It’s no good having success if you aren’t a decent human being.
“All she ever wanted was to ride horses and if she inspires others, that’s a major bonus. It can be a tough job at times, but Rachael must be made of strong stuff.
“In her words, ‘You can win one minute and be on the ground in the next’ but win or lose we’re delighted and grateful for all she has achieved so far and excited for all that’s yet to come.”
To watch the video click HERE.