Rachael Blackmore wins World Sport Star

Jockey Rachael Blackmore has won the BBC World Sport Star Personality of the Year 2021 after an incredible year.

This year Rachael Blackmore made history becoming the first woman to win the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival as well as being awarded the leading rider at the week long meet. She then went on to win the Aintree Grand National in April riding racehorse Minella Times making her the first women to win the world’s greatest steeplechase.

For the BBC World Sports Start Personality of the Year, Rachael was nominated against some of the biggest names in sport including boxer Saul ‘Canelo’ Alverz, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, tennis star Novak Djokovic, sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah and newly crowned F1 racing driver world champion Max Verstappen. However the public voted and Rachael Blackmore won.

Rachael flew over from Ireland to attend the ceremony but was initially delayed at Manchester Airport. Speaking to Gabby Logan and Clare Balding “I made it as far as Manchester Airport! I never even dreamt they could happen to be honest. It’s far surpassed anything I could have ever imagined. It’s just been an incredible year. The reaction has been brilliant, obviously for me personally they are such massive things to achieve but I think when you can bring a bit of joy to other people that makes it even more special. The reaction from everyone at home has been incredible and I feel very privileged to have had the year I’ve add.”

Rachael then added: “The Grand National was incredible, I felt I was exactly where I wanted to be. I visualised how I’d like things to work out and they seemed to just happen. You need a lot of things to fall into place for that to happen. It was just incredible.”

On winning SPOTY Rachael said: “The support has been incredible and I got such a kick out of being on that list of nominees. It’s kind of overwhelming. It’s unbelievable.”