Jockey Nomad Ponders Next Move

6
Aug

Should I Stay or Should I Go. It’s an iconic song made famous by British punk rockers The Clash in 1982.

The hit tune could also refer to Michelle Hagley, a jockey nomad, who satisfies her wanderlust by riding at bush tracks across Australia.

However, the mother of two children, five-year-old Blake and Charlee, aged 3 ½, could soon be grounded in Western Australia.

For the past two years Victorian-based Hagley and her family have called Broome home during the Pearl Coast racing season.

But in the next fortnight, as the Broome Turf Club wrap up another successful season, Hagley has a conundrum to ponder.

Does she extend her stay in Western Australia on a semi-permanent basis or will she be drawn away by family ties.

“I have a lot of options and the world is my oyster,” Hagley said.

“It’s either stay in WA or go across and catch up with family in the Northern Territory.

“I’m still in two minds, but I won’t be going back to Victoria.

“I can either leave Broome and head south or go east.”

Complicating matters for Hagley is the connections she has formed in Broome and her love of travelling.

Hagley said she has built a close bond with Esperance-based trainer, Fiona Scott.

“It’s like a little community in Broome and everyone is just so amazing,” Hagley said.

“Everyone has been brilliant in helping out with the kids.

“I’ve had so much support from Fiona who has been so kind.

“She has encouraged me to go to Esperance for the summer season.

“I hear it’s an adorable place and I haven’t been there.

“I love exploring towns I have never been to before.

“We are great travellers and I haven’t ruled it out.”

Hagley’s role in racing has been punctuated by travelling, family and education.

Hagley had her first ride at Albury in 1999 before taking time out to go travelling overseas.

She returned as a jumps jockey at Warrnambool in 2009 before having another extended break to raise her family.

It was during this time that Hagley enrolled in TAFE and completed a Certificate 111 in Education and Care.

On the weekend Hagley celebrated a successful time in the saddle with a double across two venues.

At Broome she posted an upset win on rank outsider Planet Earth, who lead and scored by 4 ½ lengths.

The second leg of a double came courtesy of Emjye, who posted a narrow win over favourite Anvil Green at Port Hedland.

Hagley says no matter if she stays or if she goes, she will definitely be back racing in Broome and WA next year.

Julio Santarelli