Hayley Turner is widely considered the best female jockey in the UK.
She was born in 1982 in Nottinghamshire and made her first public ride in March 2000 in Southwell, with her first win just three months later in June 2000 at Pontefract.
Hayley is seen as the “pin-up” girl of horse racing within the UK and is often used for advert campaigns for the sport. Having said that though she tends to prefer to steer clear of the media and live a quiet life in Newmarket, Suffolk and just focus on her riding.
Despite being a female in a male dominated profession Hayley has held her own well and competed at the highest level. Hayley became the first female to ride 100 winners in flat races in a single season when she won her 100th race of the 2008 season at Wolverhampton.
Riding 100 winners on the flat in a season is a great thing for any jockey, so it was very high profile when she became the first woman to achieve it. The 2008 season was a great one for Hayley as she was also one of only 5 riders to ride in over 900 races that season. This cemented her as one of the top jockeys in the country and by far the best female.
2011 was also a big year for Hayley as she rode her first group 1 winner in the July Cup at Newmarket riding Dream Ahead. The very next month she rode to victory again in another group one event on board Margot Did at the Nunthorpe Stakes at York’s Ebor meet.
In 2012 Hayley also continued her success from 2011 by becoming the first UK female to ride an international group 1 winner when she won the Beverley D Stakes. Hayley also became the first female to ever ride the Dubai World Cup Night and also became only the second woman to ever ride in the Epson Derby.
Hayley Turner’s success has had a lot to do with the increase in popularity of horse racing among females. The number of female apprentice jockeys has dramatically increased in recent years following Hayley’s success.
She has also openly admitted that she is a sufferer of Coeliac Disease which is an autoimmune disease of the small intestine which can often cause discomfort. This makes the fact that she has managed to make it to the top of professional sport all the more impressive as she will have been in some pain for a significant period of the tough training and racing schedule she will have had. She has shown great determination to work past this and has continued to ride to the top of the sport and become one of the most respected jockeys in the industry.