Monday, 5 April 2021

Grand National 2021: It's a Women's World

The saying goes: ''Behind every good man is a good woman.''

After the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act, that quote should have been turned on its head. 

Equality is something that has been very hard fought. In fact, it took the determination of Charlotte Brew riding her horse Barony Fort to help change the attitudes of the populous, especially the horse racing establishment, who simply wouldn't give female jockeys the opportunity to contest the Grand National. 

That was until 1977 when Brew forced the hand of the governing body when the partnership qualified for the greatest steeplechase in the world after finishing fourth in the Fox Hunters Chase. 

Since that day the Grand National has been a race contested by males and females. However, over the duration of over 40 years just 17 female jockeys have taken part. 

Nina Carberry and Katie Walsh have both started in six Grand Nationals. Walsh has achieved the best position when finishing third in 2012 on Seabass. 

Another female rider who has paved the way is Venetia Williams who rode Marcolo in 1988, a faller, but triumphed as a trainer of Mon Mone when the 100/1 shot won the 2009 Grand National ridden by Liam Treadwell. 

The National is a race with many stories to tell and perhaps the most famous of all is the success of Red Rum who won the race three times in 1973, 1974 and 1977. 

It is probably only a matter of time before the first female jockey wins the biggest prize of all. 

Take a look at this animated video narrated by Katie Walsh detailing the history of female jockeys in the Grand National. 

Source: Betway racing.

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