Aintree Foxhunters' Chase winner Tabitha Worsley has celebrated her first winner since becoming a conditional jockey.
Worsley (pictured above), rode Camlad Kingfisher to victory for trainer Sarah-Jayne Davies at Uttoxeter on Wednesday, and then spoke of her decision to become a paid rider. "I had a good season under Rules [in 2018/19] and just seem to get more backing doing that than I do in point-to-pointing," said Worsley, 24, who in April rode Top Wood to victory in the Randox Health-sponsored Foxhunters' Chase.
"In pointing I had some 50 rides and three winners, while under Rules I had 80 rides and ten winners. The timing seemed right, and Mum [Georgina Howell, who trains in Herefordshire] has taken out a permit, which was also a factor in my decision. We cannot afford to buy expensive horses, and the standards in pointing are so high now that it is difficult to compete – yet we've had four runners under Rules, and they have all paid for the day.
"Mum will still have a couple of pointers to run next year, and hopes to give my [future] sister-in-law, Fleur Allcorn, a few rides. She is marrying my brother, Hector, who is a professional polo player, next week."
Worsley rode 14 winners in the 2016/17 point-to-point season and finished third in the Skinner's women's championship to Gina Andrews and Bryony Frost – she also represented GB in that season's Anglo/Irish Championship – yet breaking her back in a hurdle race on the eve of the following season wrecked her hopes of kicking on. Since returning to action the quality of point-to-point rides have not matched the talent she has regularly demonstrated, and apart from that highlight year she has ridden just 12 winners in a further eight seasons.
With the backing of trainers Laura and Kelly Morgan (Laura is Worsley's employer, Kelly trains Top Wood) plus Robin Dickin and Davies, Worsley is hoping to ride plenty more winners, and she said: "It definitely helps that women are receiving more opportunities under Rules, and that trainers are viewing us as jockeys, rather than 'lady jockeys'."