Grand National winner to swap saddles in London International Horse Show debut

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  • Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National-winning jockey Rachael Blackmore will switch saddles to compete over coloured poles at this year’s London International Horse Show.

    Rachael, leading jockey at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, will be part of the girls’ team in the Markel Jockeys Jumping, held in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

    Full teams are yet to be formally revealed, but she will count 20-time champion jockey Sir AP McCoy among her rivals. Harry Skelton, Bridget Andrews, Jim Crowley, will also be competing, as well as hopefully Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle.

    “I did some eventing in my teenage years, but that was a long time ago now!” said Rachael, confident that “the girls… obviously” will be claiming this year’s title.

    “I’ve never been before, so I’m looking forward to seeing some of the world’s top showjumpers in action. I imagine I’ll also end up spending some money in the 200+ shops there.”

    The Markel Jockeys Jumping will be held during the final, Monday evening, performance of the five-day show (15 to 19 December) at the ExCel London.

    Rachael, who cites being leading rider at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival and winning the Grand National in the same year as her proudest achievement to date, spoke about what inspired her to become a jockey.

    “I suppose I loved going fast on my ponies and always had an interest in racing and watching it as a child. I always knew it was something I’d love to do but never envisaged it would be a career for me,” she said.

    “I love riding horses, jumping and racing and being a ‘jockey’ means it’s your job and you get paid to do something you love, which is pretty cool.

    “Different people at different times [have inspired me in my career], from all areas of life. Watching successful people be successful is an inspiration to me.”

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