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Most successful female rider in history of horse racing could be among top riders in action at Southwell Fibresand next month

The most successful female rider in the history of horse racing, Southwell’s Hayley Turner, could be among the top riders in action at her home track next month when the racecourse celebrates 30 years of all-weather racing.

Hayley, who went to the Lowe’s Wong and Minster schools in Southwell, had riding lessons at the nearby Trent Valley Equestrian Centre and began riding racehorses as a teenager for Southwell-based trainer Mark Polglase in the late 90s.

Since cutting her teeth on the Fibresand surface Hayley has gone on to have a career at the sport’s highest level, becoming the first female to ride an outright winner of a Group One race on Dream Ahead in the 2011 July Cup at Newmarket.

Hayley Turner (19519209)
Hayley Turner (19519209)

She became the first female jockey to reach 100 winners in a season in 2008, and shared the champion apprentice title in 2005.

Turner, who has ridden around 800 winners and was awarded an OBE in 2016 for her services to horse racing, is based in Newmarket but regularly rides at her home track and is hoping to play her part in the landmark celebrations on November 9, when 30 years of all-weather racing at the track will be marked by a floodlit fixture with an Irish Night theme.

Since its inception in 1989, racing on the Southwell Fibresand has become synonymous with the success of female jockeys.

The first to make her mark was Alex Greaves, who had a prolific partnership with trainer David Barron.

She became the first woman to achieve full professional status and the first to win an important race, guiding multiple Southwell winner Amenable to victory for Barron in the 1991 Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster.

She, too, went on to enjoy a successful career at the top level, riding around 300 career winners.


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