Senior Training Instructor
In post from April 2010 as a Training instructor, then promoted to Senior Training Instructor 2021
Claire’s career in the horseracing industry began in 1986 when she attended the 12-week foundation course at National Horseracing College (previously known as the South Yorkshire Training Trust), however, her passion and love for racehorses and the sport began much sooner.
Claire was brought up around racehorses; both her Grandfather and Father were jockeys before becoming racehorse trainers when their riding careers ended, so horses and racing were always going to be in her blood.
In 1989 Claire became an Apprentice Jockey and was fortunate enough to ride 17 winners and many placed horses, which at that time was a good achievement for female apprentice jockeys, as they were few and far between at the time.
Racing took Claire to Ireland for 2 months where she rode out for John Oxx, and she enjoyed a winter in Italy where she rode in half a dozen races, with no winners but it was a great experience.
After Claire decided to hang her race riding boots up in 1996 she then became more interested in the daily running, organising and training of racehorses, and she became Head Girl and then Assistant Trainer for her father John Balding, during this role she continued to develop her knowledge and skills and achieved the Level 3 Diploma in Racehorse Care and Riding.
In 2009 Claire began to do part-time work at the NHC, this was mainly covering the evening stables sessions, however, Claire was soon put through in-house training and also attended external courses which developed her skill set, and she soon became one of the qualified members of the Instructor team.
The qualifications Claire has achieved whilst at the NHC include:-
Claire said “One of the best parts of the job for me is still been closely linked to the Horseracing Industry, whilst making a difference to young people’s lives, and enabling them to get a foot on the ladder and join an industry that most can only dream of being a part of.
I also have the honour of working with such a diverse and amazing equine team, they all have their ways and little quirks but that’s what makes them so special, without them we would not be able to do our job and get the results we do for the horseracing industry.”
Claire’s interests out of work include walking, cycling, following the career of her eldest son Lewis Edmunds, who is a professional flat jockey, and also being a footballer’s Mum on a weekend for her youngest son Liam, who is currently not showing any signs of following in the family trade!