Credo: Hayley Turner, jockey

'I'll wear heels and skirts to watch the races. Why not?'

I'm a really competitive person It's something you have in you – ambition and drive. It's just basically your nature. I went to France for a break recently, and the lads had a swimming race. They were just having a laugh – but I really wanted to do it. I told myself, "Just resist, you don't need to be in this. Relax' – but I found that really hard: they're having a competition and I'm not taking part!

Even as a child I was such a perfectionist I was terribly competitive, I just had to win everything. I think I got it from my parents – my dad is into his sports and my mum is very independent and strong willed.

Racing people are quite intense It does you good mentally to have a break and hang out with people who aren't in the racing bubble.

Jockeys wouldn't do what they do if they weren't ambitious But it's not brutal – when you're on the track you can't bully people or the horses. And because the hours are so long and you do a lot travelling with the other jockeys, you all know each other – there's a lot of banter.

I work as hard as the lads do I'm actually a bit lucky, because being a woman I get lots of publicity. To other people, it's like: "Oh my god, it's a woman." But it's not a big deal for me – I'm doing it everyday.

Just because I'm doing a man's sport doesn't mean I have to be manly I am a girl. [There's no pressure to be glamorous] because generally I'm in my riding gear. It's different off the track; I'll wear heels and skirts to the races. Why not?

it's important to be yourself. It doesn't really make a difference what the audience think of you. It's not like I set a target to be a role model, I never expected to be as successful as I have been. But at least [younger girls] can see that it's achievable, which is nice.

I definitely want to have children But I think it is just something that will happen. What will be will be. I look forward to the next chapter which is hopefully having a family. I've got a few years…

Racing is not at all a cruel sport The horses are better looked after than any animal you could ever imagine. A lot of money is spent on them. UK racing is the best in the world – it's the classiest. I'm lucky to be part of it.

The perception of racing is wealth and betting But it's not just that; it's good fun, it's a good family day out. The public perception of racing isn't as broad as it should be. That's a massive issue the racing industry is looking to overcome.

Hayley Turner, 29, is the UK's number-one female jockey and is the only woman to win a Group One race in the UK. She's an ambassador for QIPCO British Champions Series, which concludes at Ascot, on 20 October

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable