Kineton trainer Laura Hurley is celebrating the granting of a public licence by The British Horseracing Authority after a decade of training for members of her family, writes David Hucker.
An education that took in Bloxham School and university led to a young Hurley moving to France, but an accident that left her mother Bronwen unable to look after the family’s point-to-pointers meant a return home to become the third generation in her family to train.
Combining training with working for a local property firm, she sent out eight winners in point to points.
Ambitious to apply for a permit to train under Rules, she decided to work part-time to gain experience riding out in various professional yards, including that of another Warwickshire trainer in Robin Dickin.
Obtaining her permit in 2010, Hurley trained her first winner on her very first day with runners, when Orang Outan, ridden by David Bass, won at Towcester in February 2011.
Another seven winners later, Hurley is keen to step up to the next level and start training for other owners.
Her stable star Catchin Time failed to win in Ireland but, after being sourced by Hurley’s boyfriend Paddy Barcoe and bought privately from his breeder, has now notched up four successes.
The family interest in horses started with her grandfather Jocelyn Musson who, during World War II, served in the Royal Navy, rising to the rank of lieutenant-commander.
While at sea in 1942 he bought a farm in West Sussex, later moving to Hampshire where he would breed and train steeplechasers, including Charlie Potheen, winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup in 1972 and the Whitbread Gold Cup a year later.
“This is something that I always wanted to do and the time is right to take the plunge,” said Hurley.
“Horses are in my blood and, having had success as a permit holder, it’s a natural progression to taking out a full licence.”
Having already successfully bought from Ireland, Hurley is hoping lightning will strike twice with Allez Motto, currently trained in County Kilkenny by Barcoe’s brother James, being acquired for a newly-formed syndicate to run as her first horse for public owners.
Having competed in two Irish National Hunt Flat Races and three novice hurdles, Allez Motto is still able to contest maiden races, as well as qualifying for a British handicap mark that will open up other options.
There are no certainties in racing but, if Allez Motto does as well as Catchin Time, then his new owners will not have any complaints.
Anyone interested in joining the syndicate can call Hurley on 07999 693322.