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Home » Blog » hayley turner exclusive

Hayley Turner Exclusive: I had a deranged prison stalker send me drugs & threaten my family; I was called a “dirty midget wh*re!” on social media for failing to win onboard a favourite

Hayley Turner
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In an exclusive interview with SafeBettingSites.com, jockey Hayley Turner has revealed how she was targeted by a Brixton prison inmate who sent her drugs in the post and made horrendous threats against her elderly relatives. 

Turner, who became the first female jockey to ride 100 winners in a calendar year in Britain, talked candidly about how she deals with trolling on social media and also explained what sparks the most abusive messages.

Interview Highlights:

 

I was hounded before social media – Prisoner posted me a spliff

Turner was terrifyingly targeted by a mystery prisoner, who managed to evade HMP security and post a cannabis joint to the successful racing jockey;

“Well before social media some guy used to write to me from Brixton prison. I don’t know how the letters found their way to me because he just wrote ‘Jockey Hayley Turner, Newmarket’ but the Royal Mail did a great job of getting them to me. He used to write some pretty weird stuff and he actually sent me a spliff once, which was a bit random.”

Stalker’s campaign worsened with Turner’s family targeted and police involved

The Nottingham born ace was forced to call the authorities after the poison pen letter campaign turned even more sinister when threats were shockingly made against her grandmother;

“There were some threats against my nana and just lots of really crazy stuff. I actually ended up getting the police involved and he was warned to stop.”

Riding a favourite brings extra pressure – Lose and social media abuse skyrockets

Turner has ridden over 900 winners in her stellar career but social media abuse is still sadly a daily way of life for jockeys and it gets worse when a favourite doesn’t cross the finishing line in first place;

“In terms of social media, the worst abuse you get is when you get beaten while riding a favourite. One of my favourites was someone calling me a dirty midget wh*re! Sometimes you’ll come in after a race and think oh I didn’t give that a very good ride but you wonder what everyone else is thinking and people will have written ‘what were you doing on that you moron?’. That’s the polite version as well!”

Family group chat helps me laugh off trolls – I don’t care what they think

Having been an established jockey since the early 2000s, Turner has developed a unique way of dealing with abusive messages on social media;

“I have a group chat with my sisters and my mum and dad and I just take a screenshot and send it to them and we just joke about it. I know when I’ve done something wrong in a race I don’t need someone to tell me and I’ll be the first to put my hands up. They haven’t ridden the horse and they don’t know much. It’s probably some bloke eating a pot noodle with a can of cider sitting in their nana’s living room abusing me! I don’t care what they think.”

Trolling is ‘too easy’ but Professional Jockeys Association are always there to help

Turner is saddened as how easy it is to send vile messages on the internet but she is grateful for the support of the Professional Jockey Association, who are always on hand to help;

“I’m good at just taking it on the chin. That’s just me having thick skin but I can see how some people aren’t built like that and they take it personally. It shouldn’t be allowed but the people who actually do it, I don’t care what they think anyway. But it’s just too easy for them now isn’t it? Fortunately we have the Professional Jockeys Association who support jockeys with anything from being trolled, to mental health even to sorting out your car insurance! They’re wonderful.”

Horse racing eventually cottoned on to social media – I was ahead of the game

Horse racing has struggled to adapt in the face of a changing society and Turner believes that the sport was slow to embrace social media, despite being a trend setter herself;

“I was one of the first jockeys on social media. My brother-in-law put me on to Twitter which was very alien to racing at the time but I just plugged away at it and slowly everyone else has picked up on it. But I think in general horse racing is a bit slow to pick up on new ideas and new technology but everyone has cottoned on now. I think it’s easier for everyone to follow a sport when the characters come across well on social media.”

Hayley Turner

Hayley Turner OBE is an English jockey born in Nottingham, who competes in flat racing. Hayley has won 8 Group races across her 15 year career, including two Group 1 races and a Grade 1 race. Other notable highlights from her career include becoming the first woman jockey to ride 100 UK flat race winners in a calendar year (2008). Hayley also won the July Cup and Nunthorpe Stakes races in 2011. She retired from racing in 2015 to pursue a career in racing commentary on ITV Racing. However, since 2018, Hayley has come out of retirement and has ridden three winners at Royal Ascot.

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