Q and A with jockey Chloe Emsley
Although Gina Andrews is already well clear in the National Ladies Championship there are a number of new Ladies names who are looking to make a mark and in the Wessex and Devon and Cornwall areas the emergence of Chloe Emsley as a potential local champion is already a feature of the current season. The opportunity was taken to catch up with Chloe to find out more about her.
Introduction – Where did you grow up and when did you first sit on a pony (if you did)?
I grew up in the Midlands in a town called Tamworth which isn’t too far away from Birmingham. The first time I sat on a horse was when I was six years old at a riding school when one of my friends from school had a birthday party there and we had a couple of rides on the ponies and that was it then, I was having a riding lesson the next week.
When did you first start riding thoroughbreds and what / when and where was your first ride?
I first started riding thoroughbreds properly at the Northern Racing School in Doncaster which I went to straight away as soon as I left school when I was 16 as I was pretty eager to get going.
My first ride in a point to point was when I was 17 and it was down at Buckfastleigh in a 16 runner maiden on a lovely mare called Double Sparkle. It didn’t go to plan as I unseated at the 4th last, but I was having a great spin up until then.
What was your first winner point-to-pointing and what do you remember about the ride?
My first winner was down at Wadebridge on my own horse called Village Whispers who I had ridden the previous season for Colin and Julie Bright which I then bought off them as a school master for me even though he was still a maiden himself but he jumped for fun. My first winner was even better as well as I trained him and did everything myself so it made all the hard work definitely worthwhile. I remember just winging fences for fun and being at the front and couldn’t believe I was staying there. We won by ten lengths in the end and I had to pull the horse up after we crossed the line because I think he thought we were going round again. He was quite a slow horse but he would stay all day.
How many winners in total have you ridden in point-to-points? I have ridden ten winners pointing including three this season and one on the flat Arab racing
Are there any riders that you seek to model yourself on and why? A jockey I would like to be half or even a quarter as good as is Rachael Blackmore. I think she is such a serious rider, she is very strong in a finish and you can’t pick her out from the men in a race as she is just as good as them.
What is the best horse you have ridden and why?
The best horse I’ve ridden is probably Thomas Campbell as he was a very good horse on the track and the way he stayed up the hill at Wadebridge and was passing horses like he did, you could just feel a serious engine in there. But the other great horse I’ve ridden is Sobre Tresor for Chloe Newman. He was an amazing jumper and stayer which got us to win all three ladies races at Wadebridge in one season. He wasn’t the biggest but he always tried his heart out every time he ran.
You are working this season for Ed and Polly Walker. Both have been involved in racing particularly point to points for a long time – how did the connection start?
I started working for Ed and Polly Walker this season as I’ve always wanted to work there for the past few seasons as they are such big parts of the pointing world and Polly was leading lady jockey so I knew I could learn a lot from her. I rang up and asked if I could come in and ride out at the end of last season and it sort of just took off from there really. I’m there every morning riding out and I really enjoy it. They have been really good to me already and I’ve ridden some nice horses with hopefully some more to come.
Your partner Stuart Payne trains several horses at Woolminstone. Can you suggest one that we should look out for and why?
Stuart and I bought a mare called Getaway Honey in March last year off trainer David Dennis. She has won a point to point in Ireland and also came second and won a bumper over in England. It’s great because she is still only a restricted horse and also she is half -sister to the prolific pointer Man of Steel. She will be out around March time and is hopefully something to look forward too.
What interests do you have outside horses and racing?
My interests outside of racing would be not too far away from horses as I quite like breaking in youngsters as it’s always a challenge and every day is different.
What is the funniest moment you can tell us from your experiences of point-to-pointing?
My funniest moment pointing would have to be when Village Whispers head butted Stuart when we were saddling him up. It did knock Stuart sideways a little bit and cut his lip slightly but it was incredibly funny as I just said it was because he was in good form and gave him a pat. He won the race that day anyway so it was just good luck in the end.
What is your favourite point-to-point course and why?
My favourite course has definitely got to be Wadebridge as I have had 5 winners down there but even still I quite like the course as it’s definitely very different to most courses
What would be your ultimate riding ambition?
My biggest ambition at the time was the ride on the track for a trainer but Polly has already help me achieve that by letting me ride Dawson City in an amateur race at Ascot which was an amazing experience and I got a great ride off Dawson City that day as well.
My ambition now is to get as many winners as I can and to become leading lady rider, whether it be in Devon and Cornwall , Wessex area or even overall.