- The Early Days
- Unlike a big chunk of the racing industry, I didn’t have a racing background. I did however have a massive passion for horse riding. My Mum was a freelance riding instructor in Nottingham so, I spent my childhood following her round. My two older sisters were both taught to ride as well, but as they got older their attention turned to fashion and boys. I however has zero interest, I rode any pony I could get a free ride no matter how naughty they were.
- School Days
- I got through my school days without setting the world alight. My best subjects were Drama, PE, Textiles and Art, so basically, nothing academic! I enjoyed hanging out on the park with my mates, drinking cider, roller blading and being a tad cheeky. I was encouraged to earn my own cash so, I did a few paper rounds and some pot washing at one of the local pubs. Whilst doing that, I fitted in as many trips to the riding school, where I would work on the yard for free rides. My GCSE’s results were only OK and I had little drive from any of the subjects I’d covered so my next move was a bit of a head scratcher. One of the best bits of advice came from my Mum when I was pondering over what to do with my life. She said quite simple, “do something you enjoy” So I did.
- The Northern Racing School
- A friend in my years was into his horse racing so, when he told me he was going to the Northern racing collage I had to check it out. I loved riding horses but, I didn’t have a big posh horse to take me to Olympia so racing was a good option. I went on a taster day at the school and immediately got hooked. I did a ten week course with them. I learnt how to adjust my riding skills to the racing way. I went home on my weekend off, which was two weeks into the course and announced to my Mum and Dad that I was going to be a Jockey! They smiled and nodded, I think they thought it was a phase that wouldn’t last long, like when I when I told them I wanted Keyboard lessons because I was going to be a musician.
- Race-riding underway
- When I left the Northern racing collage I joined Mark Polglases yard which was in my hometown of Southwell. After a year of graft he agree to get my Apprentice license out. My first ride was on a horse called Mark Ellis who was trained by Declan Carroll. It was a 2mile race around Southwell racecourse. It was a very memorable day but not for good reason! I had a very light weight so Declan told me to go and sit myself in the sauna for short while. I hung my clothes up, put my cosy on and walked into the sauna, there in front of me, were four naked jockeys! I was shocked, I sat and looked at the floor for about 5 mins then got the hell out of there. That was my first and last sauna visits, the lads still joke about my sauna experience now. To make things worse…… The horse I was riding got half way round and broke its leg, it was so sad, he had to get put down there and then. I unsaddled him and trundled across the track where my parents were stood fretting, they hadn’t seen me cross the line, all they could see was an ambulance in the distance. They were relived when they spotted me, I did my best not to make a big deals about it and returned to the weighing room with a brave face on.
- The Ups
- My early days of a jockey were not at all promising, I was very weak so I took myself stateside where I spent four months riding track work in South Georgia. It was a fantastic experience. With that and a bit more strength behind me I returned to the UK and joined the Michael Bells team, he trains in Newmarket, the Head Quarters of horse racing . With his support things snowballed. I had the joy of riding winners for some fantastic people, including her Majesty queen. I was joint Champion Apprentice with Salem Golan in 2005. In 2008 I reached 100 winners within the calendar year. My biggest winner was on Dream Ahead in the 2011 Darley July Cup. Later on that year I had another Group 1 for Michael Bell on Margot Did in the Coolmore Nunthorpe. My Group 1 success went international when in 2012 I rode I’m A Dreamer to win the Beverly D at Arlington Park. I have enjoyed many winners in Europe and around the world including, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, America and Japan.
- The Downs
- Racing is a roller coster, so to mix up the above, here are some of the tougher times. In 2009 when I was on the crest of a wave from riding my century the previous year`I was on the Newmarket gallops early in the morning putting a horse through the stalls. I remember the horse jumping well and that was all I could remember. I have no recollection of the event. My horse was going flat out and broke its shoulder, I got fired into the ground and landed on my head. Philip Mcentee who was the trainer of the horse ran over and found me with blood coming out my ears. I was extremely lucky as it was just bruising and nothing more serious. I got stood down from race riding for a year which devastated me. I appealed this and was back riding 4 months later. As well as that, during my carrier I have managed to break my ankle twice, my pelvis and my back in three places! The good thing is that I’m alive to tell the tale.
- Calling it a day
- I announced my retirement in 2015, I love the race riding still very much, particularly as things had really started to pick up again, but the love for the lifestyle that goes with it was gone, going racing everyday became a chore. Sitting in my car for at least 6 hours a day became unbearable After 15 years, so, I called it a day. Im happy that I left on a high. I achieved more in racing than I ever would have imagined. I had Been lucky enough to have enjoyed it that much, till then that it never felt like I had never work a day in my life.
“Who?…. Hayley? Let me think, oh yes, isn’t she the youngest one? “ Richard Turner
“She gets all her talent from her mum” Kate Turner
“As a kid, Hayley occasionally ate fire-lighters” Gemma Turner
“She’s loverrly” Nanna Bunny
“She’s tight sharing food sometimes” Holly, the dog
“She’s got a good but weird sense of humour” Rab Havlin
“she rides better than she drives and has an obesession with her iphone & shoes” Jane Duncan
“Hayley is rather good at doing a back door boogie as I have come to realise in recent years” Patsy Cosgrave
“Hayley is the best thing to happen in racing for a long time, providing the sport with a natural ambassador to target a new audience” Johnno Spencer
“Mischievious – once put bubble bath in the jacuzzi at centre parks” Becky Percival
“One thing you should know about Hayley is she has really bad taste in men” Steph Holinshead
“She has crows feet, leaves any fridge or cupboard door open that she goes near and loves her dog more than any human” Dominic Fox
“She’s remarkabley tolerant; with the exception of wheat” John Maxi
“No no joke, she rides like a bloke” Jimmy Quinn
“Of course I’ll tell them you are my favourite niece but don’t tell the others” Aunty Jenny
“She has lovely bingo wings” George Baker
“I think the public should know, she doesn’t always shower after racing” Ted Duncan
“Hayley is a very fast driver – that’s why I tend to sleep a lot when she’s in the driving seat!!!” Dereck Thompson
“She has a lovely bottom…” Frankie Dettori
“Anyone who can climb through the kitchen window in heels, win a Group 1 and spread ketchup over the tastiest food has to be special” Ian Marks
“She’s rubbish at golf and has been seen to pick her nose while driving” Micky Fenton
“Hayley has ugly feet” Kirsty Milczareek
“Has a head like a beaten favourite” Daragh O’donohoe
“Her nickname is BUG!” Richard Mullen
“She has not changed despite her succsess, and always has time for her friend’s” Kelly Webster
“Hayley is very determined and dedicated but also a great friend who loves to let her hair down and have fun whenever possible” Kelly Harrison
” She’s smaller than me and I’m only 12! ” Jordon Percival