Who is Charlotte Brew?

Charlotte Budd (née Brew) had the distinction of being the first female jockey to ride in the Grand National. In 1977, as a 21-year-old, Brew lined up on the twelve-year-old Barony Court, a horse that she had been given as an eighteenth birthday present, who had qualified for the National by virtue of finishing fourth in the Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase, over the Grand National fences. Despite being ‘run off his feet’, the 200/1 outsider did not make a semblance of a mistake until the Canal Turn on the second circuit. However, three fences later, at ‘The Booth’ – a 5’3” fence, preceded by a 6’ wide ditch – Barony Fort dug in his toes and refused. Indeed, his young jockey attempted to clear the fence three more times, without success, before finally giving up. Although she made the front-page of the tabloid newspapers in the build-up to the National, in the aftermath of the race Brew was overshadowed by the unprecedented third victory of the legendary Red Rum.