Adele rode as an Apprentice for the late Dandy Nicholls with her biggest winner coming aboard Masta Plasta in the 2008 running of the Scottish Sprint Cup. She rode 12 winners and had about 100 rides before she stopped riding and had a baby with jockey husband Paul. She completed a number of Media Training courses before landing a dream job as Racecourse Presenter for Go Racing in Yorkshire earlier this year.
What training did you to with JETS before getting your current job?
I initially thought I would go back to riding after having a baby but that didn’t happen. I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I decided to do a few courses whilst I was on maternity leave including the Racing Secretaries course and a couple of Trainers modules but I most enjoyed doing a number of Media Training courses. You need to be able to talk well and present yourself well so I thought it would be useful no matter what career I went into. I felt it was useful to be ready if any opportunity turned up and luckily it did!
How did you get the job with Go Racing In Yorkshire?
It was word of mouth. I was speaking with GRIY General Manager Emma White about how much I’d enjoyed the latest media training I’d done with Luke Harvey and she said I should apply for the role. I know the racecourses well and also a lot of the trainers and jockeys having worked in different yards up here. I had to do an interview in front of the General Manager, Chairman and various Managers from the Yorkshire courses. It was daunting as I also had to do a post race presentation as part of the interview with everyone watching which was quite a lot of pressure. The feedback was really positive though and I think everyone was keen to give the job to someone who’d come from racing and knew the local scene so well.
What do you most enjoy about the role?
I love being part of the owners winning day. I know how much they put into the sport and it’s great to see them win. It’s the same with the sponsors, I like getting to know them and give their business a push. When you’re a jockey you only really think about your own role but there’s so many other aspects to racedays and I really like seeing the other side of them.
What do you find most challenging about the role?
Standing up in front of everyone and speaking is definitely outside my comfort zone, I’ve struggled with confidence in the past but that’s where the media training really helped. It gave me great practice in being the interviewer rather than the interviewee. It’s not easy!
What advice would you give jockeys now thinking about their future careers?
Actually my husband Paul doesn’t know what he wants to do once he stops riding and hasn’t done any JETS courses yet but if you don’t know what you want to do, I just say give something a go anyway. You might not find the thing you want to do straight away but JETS is there to give you those opportunities and if you fail, it doesn’t matter, you can move onto something else. I think lots of jockeys are scared that if you do a course people will think you’re not taking your riding seriously but that just isn’t the case and people should never criticise jockeys for doing other things. You’re not going to ride forever. I didn’t know I was going to go down this route but at least I was prepared when the opportunity did present itself.
What advice have you been given that’s stuck with you?
Dandy Nicholls was always so supportive of me. He said ‘I want you to be as good as you can be’ and his attitude was always to look forward and never look back.
What is your ambition for the future?
I really hope to have this role for a long time and establish myself as the voice and face of Go Racing In Yorkshire. I’d also really like to do some racecourse presenting at York. I’m looking forward to working on Ladies Day at Haydock as it’s such a big raceday and I’d love to be involved with some of those showcase meetings at York.