Hayley Turner has spoken her regret after a “mistake” regarding the opening of an internet betting account left her facing a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel hearing on December 14.
Joint champion apprentice in 2005, Turner was the first woman to ride 100 winners in a year and is a three-time winner at the top level. officially retired from the saddle at the end of the 2015 turf season and after primarily establishing a media career with At The Races and ITV Racing, Turner recently opted to return to race riding in France.
However, her decision to open an online account following her initial retirement prompted a BHA inquiry as she theoretically still held a licence, leaving the rider in breach of the rules and “deeply embarrassed” by the situation.
Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, said in a statement: “Following her retirement from the saddle in November 2015, Hayley opened an online betting account in her name registered to her home address, the first ever betting account she had opened.
“Even though she was officially retired, Hayley subsequently took part in several one-off, invitational events and had some warm-up rides to prepare for them, and held a licence from the BHA enabling her to take part in those events.
“It was only this summer that Hayley decided to return to race riding more fully in France.
“Even though Hayley no longer saw herself as a jockey, and placed no bets whilst actively riding, she did place bets whilst holding a licence which technically placed her in breach of the Rules of Racing, something Hayley entirely accepts.
“There was a total of 164 such bets over a period of approximately 18 months, with a median average stake of £10 and a mean average stake of £18.62, which generated a total profit of £160.
“Hayley has co-operated fully with the BHA and has been transparent and honest throughout. The BHA has confirmed to Hayley’s representatives that beyond the Rule breaches themselves, it has no further integrity concerns over the bets or Hayley herself.
“Hayley is absolutely devastated at her mistake and deeply embarrassed and sorry for it. Her hearing is scheduled for next Thursday, December 14.”