Hayley Turner retired from the saddle last year
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
HAYLEY TURNER on Friday night said she “couldn’t believe it” after learning her achievements as a jockey were being recognised with the award of an OBE.
Turner, 33, who retired at the end of last season as the most successful female jockey in British racing history, has received the award for services to horse racing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The award came out of the blue for Turner who admitted she initially feared she was in trouble when the formal notification came through her letterbox.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I thought I had done something wrong when the letter landed on my doorstep. I was staring at this formal envelope wracking my brains wondering what I could have done. That was before I had opened it.
“I actually hadn’t done anything wrong so decided it was fine to open and there was the letter saying I was being awarded the OBE.”
In a 15-year riding career Turner became the first British woman to secure a Group 1 victory outright when she won the 2011 July Cup on Dream Ahead. She was also the first female to win the Flat apprentice title, which she shared with Saleem Golam in 2005, and the first to ride 100 winners in a year in 2008.
Dream Ahead was one of two Group 1 wins in 2011, a season at the end of which she was also honoured as the ‘Most Inspirational Sportswoman of the Year’ by the Jaguar Academy of Sport. She will join a select group of jockeys to be awarded an OBE.
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