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  • Writer's pictureJo O'Neill

The Racing Life of Carolyn White

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

In her former role as head of travelling, Carolyn White was a familiar sight alongside Dr Newland’s runners. In the past, Carolyn led up the legendary Lester Piggott, Brough Scott, Willie Carson and Olivier Peslier, to name a few. She was renowned for immaculate turn out, neat plaits and for winning many BTOs. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Godolphin Staff Awards and was interviewed by Brough Scott.

Photo Credit: Sarah Matthews

For over forty years, Carolyn worked in racing, mixing Flat and National Hunt – it was simply the racing and the horses she loved. If any proof is needed, Carolyn took on the retired Marine Diver from Rod Millman’s (‘Diver’ was once the favourite for the Italian Derby) when he was six and had him until he passed away at 31.

A friend to a great many of her fellow former stable staff, Carolyn has been missed since she left Dr Newland's in April 2019. Yet, there have been a few sightings of her on racecourses as she has occasionally been driving for trainers and transporters.

Originally from Salisbury, Carolyn now lives on the outskirts of Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire with her partner Mick Turner, who works for the BHA.

What trainers did you work for? A few including Richard Hannon Senior, Rod Millman in Devon and more recently Dr Richard Newland, for over ten years.

How did you get into racing? Originally, I worked with ponies and I just chanced at job at Richard Hannon’s – and it got into my heart.

What was your best day’s racing? Leading up Pineau de Re, winner of 2014 Grand National and leading up Chickawicka in the 1994 Ever Ready Derby for Rod Millman. Also, leading up Silver Adonis when he won the Aintree Foxhunters under Tom Weston was another good day.

Photo Credit: Geraldine Smith

Is Flat or National Hunt your favourite? I love both but National Hunt is my favourite – the people are far the nicest!

How did racing change over the years? There’s a lot more pressure on the staff nowadays, staff that has depleted in number over the years. All of racing has changed – it’s so high pressurised now. The traditional job of doing your own four has been lost.

Which were your most favourite horses? Pineau de Re without a doubt.

Thera used to love Polo mints and Jailbreaker – both were trained at Millman’s. Plus, Lord Kinkyre who won the Super Sprint at Newbury. He was nicknamed Bully but he was far from a bully!

What was your favourite part of the job? The horses and the people you meet along the way – we’re one big family and look after each other.

The least favourite part? Losing a horse.

What was your fondest memory? The Grand National will always be unbeatable. Yet, all my days have been good.

What was the best advice you were given? The girls at Richard Hannon’s said, “If you like it, you’ll stay – it’ll be in your blood. If not, you’ll leave.” The rest is history.

The best advice you can give: If you love horses and racing then just do it. Racing is unbeatable for pay in all equine jobs/careers, has the best days out and lots of chances of promotion.

What were your favourite racecourses? Chester on the Flat and Newton Abbot for jumping, because it’s like going home.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Cross

What was your first winner? On the Flat, it was Benny Lynch at Windsor and, National Hunt, was Desert Command at Sandown, ridden by Ray Cochrane. Both were whilst I was working at Hannon’s, between 1978-80.

What made you leave your fulltime role? Working in racing was getting increasingly demanding and I wanted to spend more time with my friends and family, especially the grandchildren.

What other work have you done since? I have spent the majority of this last year with my family. I did some horse transportation and a few other jobs but I’ve mainly chilled out!

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