Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore has been voted World Sports Star of the Year 2021 by BBC Sports Personality.
The 32-year-old became the first woman to win the Grand National at Aintree with an 11-1 victory in the Minella Times in April. No other woman had finished in the first two of the famous steeplechase. Blackmore also became the first woman to lead the rider at the Cheltenham Festival in March, where she racked up six victories.
Who were the 2021 Sports Personality winners? She said that receiving the World Sport Star award was “amazing. The support has been incredible. I loved being on that list of nominees. This is just incredible.” My dreams were so big, but [this year] it far surpassed anything I could have imagined. The reaction has been brilliant, I feel very privileged to have had the year that I have had.”
The best previous from a rider at the Nationals was Katie Walsh’s third place finish in 2012. Women were unable to participate in the race until 1977, and in all, only 19 female riders have competed.
Spearheading a public online vote, Blackmore beat out competition from Mexican boxer Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez, American football quarterback Tom Brady, Serbian world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah and Dutch Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen. The winner of the award in 2020 was Russian UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov.