Grand National Female Jockeys


Charlotte Brew attracted huge media attention when partnering her own horse Barony Fort who refused four out in 1977. She was a guest on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show and the Daily Mirror arranged a day-trip on Concorde to Washington. She was also unseated in the 1982 race.


Geraldine Rees was 26 when completing the course (albeit in last place) in 1982. She fell at the first a year later and went on to train for 12 years in Lancashire, retiring in 2010.

Venetia Williams is the only female trainer to have saddled a Crabbie’s Grand National winner who has also ridden in the race. She fell at Becher’s first time when riding 200/1 chance Marcolo in 1988 and trained 100/1 shot Mon Mome to score in 2009.

Gee Armytage had to pull up her aptly-named mount, Gee-A, in 1988. A dual Cheltenham Festival- winning rider, she is the sister of Marcus Armytage – amateur rider of the 1990 winner Mr Frisk – and became personal assistant to multiple champion Jump jockey AP (Tony) McCoy.

Rosemary Henderson finished fifth when aged 51 on her own 100/1 shot Fiddlers Pike in 1994. She subsequently wrote a book, ‘Road To The National’, about her exploits.

There was huge media interest in Carrie Ford when she finished fifth in 2005 on Forest Gunner, trained by husband Richard. Ford, then 33, had given birth to her daughter Hannah 10 weeks earlier.

Nina Carberry (pictured) is the most experienced Grand National female rider, having finished the course
on three of her four starts, doing best when seventh on Character Building in 2010. Carberry’s father Tommy rode the 1975 winner L’Escargot and saddled the 1999 hero Bobbyjo, ridden by her brother Paul. Their brother Philip has also twice taken part in the Crabbie’s Grand National. Amateur rider Nina Carberry is married to Ruby Walsh’s brother Ted junior. Nina and Paul Carberry became the first brother and sister to ride in the same Grand National in 2012 and Katie and Ruby Walsh did the same in 2013. 

Irish-based Katie Walsh is the main female rider at present. Her mount Seabass, trained by father Ted, was third in 2012 and 13th in 2013, while she finished 13th in 2014 on Vesper Bell. She led up Papillon, when trained by her father and ridden by Ruby to win in 2000. A photograph of a mud- splattered Walsh in Seabass’s colours, taken by Spencer Murphy, won the 2013 Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize.



Allison is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine. She loves going to the Races and is learning to bet (despite being officially the worst bettor in the History of the Universe), there's a lot more to learn...

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