The Queen and a new challenge: Hayley Turner receives OBE and looks forward to life on camera

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  • Former top Flat jockey Hayley Turner has spoken of her gratitude towards The Queen for the opportunities she gave her during her career.

    Hayley, who retired from race riding in November 2015, was presented with her OBE for services to horseracing by Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace on 24 October.

    “It was brilliant, really good fun,” Hayley told H&H.

    “Managing to get my two sisters, my mum and my nan into London all at once was quite a military operation!

    “It was a fantastic day and the fact that Her Majesty The Queen was giving them out was a massive bonus.”

    One of the most successful female jockeys of all time, Hayley’s race-riding career spanned 15 years.

    In 2008, she rode 100 winners and became the first lady rider to achieve the century in a calendar year.

    She was the first lady to ride an outright Group One winner, taking the July Cup in Newmarket with Dream Ahead in 2011. That year she scored another milestone when she won the Nunthorpe Stakes at the York Ebor Festival aboard Margot Did, becoming the first woman to win two Group Ones in a season.

    Although she officially retired from race riding last year, Hayley made a competitive return to the saddle to take part in the Shergar Cup at Ascot in August as a substitute for injured Michelle Payne.

    Hayley also rode a number of winners for The Queen.

    “I had a brief chat with her [when she presented me with the OBE],” she said.

    “We chatted about when I rode at the Shergar Cup this year.

    “My mum has rehomed former racehorses and Her Majesty has sent a couple to her — I think she is quite keen to send us some more.

    “I have had a fantastic career, it is people like Her Majesty The Queen who have given me the opportunities.”

    She added that when people saw The Queen was giving her rides, other people followed suit.

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    The 33-year-old has now been confirmed as part of the presenting line-up for ITV when the channel takes over racing coverage from Channel 4 in January.

    She told H&H she is “really looking forward to it”.

    “I have a lot of work to do — I have spent the last 15 years riding horses, this is completely different,” she said.

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