Top Irish Female Jockeys

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Top Irish Female Jockeys
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It’s impossible to talk about leading female Irish jockeys without mentioning Rachael Blackmore. 

The County Tipperary woman has been a game-changer when it comes to horse racing and is regarded by many as the best National Hunt jockey irrespective of gender.

Blackmore is an excellent role model for all aspiring jockeys and especially female ones, with the 33-year-old having landed some huge successes including the 2021 Grand National.

She was on board Minella Times who was a well-backed 11/1 shot with betting sites, and became the first female rider to triumph in the Aintree spectacular, having been the leading Cheltenham jockey in the previous month’s Festival.

Rachael Reaching New Heights

Indeed, Rachael Blackmore won back-to-back Champion Hurdles in 2021 and 2022 on the legendary Honeysuckle, while she was absolutely spectacular when triumphing in the 2022 Gold Cup on A Plus Tard. 

The horse and rider were a full 15 lengths clear of the chasing pack in the meeting’s blue riband event last year.

Blackmore continues to make history and has 14 Cheltenham Festival winners and counting, with the jockey having also achieved a number of major wins in Ireland. 

That includes a consecutive hat-trick of Irish Champion Hurdle wins with Honeysuckle, while she will continue to benefit from the emergence of so many talented horses in the Henry de Bromhead yard.

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Maxine Worthy Of Honourable Mention

Maxine O’Sullivan might be less-known outside of racing circles, although this is another talented horsewoman who has over 60 career wins and she has plenty of time to emerge as a major player both in her native Ireland and in the United Kingdom.

Having been in the game since childhood, O’Sullivan recorded her first winner in 2008 with The Merry Mason and has gone on to record some notable triumphs.

At the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, Maxine was able to oblige on It Came To Pass in the Foxhunters’ Chase.

Sent off a 66/1 outsider with horse racing betting sites, the gelding travelled smoothly throughout and ran out an easy winner from 2022 winner Billaway.

She has also been successful with The Jam Man, who was victorious for O’Sullivan at Sedgefield in 2018 and at Catterick Racecourse in the same year.

Maxine also scooped the Ladies Champion award in 2010 and 2014, with 13 different winners recorded in the latter year.

Top Class Carberry One Of The Greats

Nina Carberry is also in the Hall of Fame when it comes to the top Irish female jockeys and she has arguably done as much as anyone to further the cause.

The 38-year-old is now retired from the saddle after an incredible 412 career wins and many of them took place at the Cheltenham Festival.

Nina first tasted victory at this meeting in 2005 when she was on Dabiroun in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.



It was a landmark achievement considering it was the first female jockey victory in 18 years at the Cheltenham Festival and she returned to the same meeting two years later to score with Heads On the Ground in the Cross Country Chase.

Carberry became renowned as something of a specialist when it came to a Festival race which is largely played out in the middle of the track, with the popular figure onboard Garde Champetre when obliging for owner JP McManus in both 2008 and 2009. 

She was also able to win with Josie’s Orders in 2016, while there were further victories riding On the Fringe past the post in the 2015 and 2016 St James’ Palace Foxhunters Chase.

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Walsh Followed The Family Footsteps

We should also give a special mention to Katie Walsh, who is the sister of the legendary Ruby Walsh.

She really broke into stardom when giving Seabass a brilliant spin in the 2012 Grand National, with the horse finishing third and that was the highest finish for a female competitor until Rachael Blackmore’s more recent triumph.

Three years later, Katie became the third Irish female jockey to win the Irish Grand National on board Thunder And Roses.

Sent off an unfancied 20/1 shot with betting apps to win that day, he beat Rule The World comfortably who then went on to win the Aintree Grand National the following season.

Walsh rode her first two Cheltenham Festival winners in 2010 when being given the nod on Poker De Sivola in the National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup and then scoring on Thousand Stars in the County Handicap Hurdle.

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