History of female riders in the Grand National

Thu 8th Apr 2021, 08:00

Katie Walsh
© Photo Healy Racing

A female rider is yet to win the Aintree Grand National, but it is surely only a matter of time before history is rewritten.

Former top-class amateur rider and Betway Ambassador Katie Walsh talks us through the history of ladies riding in the great race and recounts her own personal experiences including finishing in a gallant third place on her first ever ride in the race aboard Seabass in 2012.

Katie’s third place finish on Seabass remains the best ever placing by a lady rider in the iconic race. To date only 17 women have been given the opportunity to take part in the Grand National since it was first run in 1839.

In fact, no woman rode in any of the first 136 renewals of the marathon steeplechase. Charlotte Brew broke that trend when becoming the first woman to compete in the Grand National in 1977. Unfortunately, Charlotte failed to finish the race and the honour of the first woman to complete the course went to Geraldine Rees five years later in 1982.

Katie Walsh and her sister-in-law Nina Carberry became regulars in the Grand National between 2006 and 20017 before hanging up their boots.

A new era for lady riders has well and truly begun with Rachael Blackmore crowned Leading Rider at last month’s Cheltenham Festival when she notched up six victories against the boys.

Perhaps 2021 could be the year when a woman finally rides to victory in the Aintree Grand National!

Check out all the latest odds for this Saturday’s big race with Betway

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