The Jockey and Her Horse is a fictional novel inspired by the amazing true story of Cheryl White, who was only seventeen years old when she became the first Black female jockey in America.
Cheryl’s real life broke barriers. On September 3, 1971, at Waterford Park in West Virginia, Cheryl galloped into history as the first Black female jockey to ever win a race, too. Astride her chestnut Thoroughbred Jetolara, bred and trained by her father Raymond, she demonstrated the skills and fortitude that would ultimately result in more than 750 wins over the course of her career.
Cheryl was a pioneer, but she was also a torchbearer in the long legacy of Black contributions to Thoroughbred racing, a sport that was built on the labor of enslaved Black people. It is a story that the authors of The Jockey and Her Horse — Cheryl’s brother, Raymond Jr., and New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Maslin Nir — are proud to tell.
Cheryl’s life was full of triumphs both on and off the track. A talented student, she appeared on “It’s Academic,” a televised student quiz show. Second to horses, she loved math and planned on being a math teacher if being a jockey didn’t work out. In high school, she was on the school yearbook staff, and a member of the Spanish, science, and pep clubs. Cheryl ran track and was the captain of her basketball team at Grand Valley High School — all while training to be a jockey!
This gift set includes a 1:12 scale genuine Breyer model horse of Jetolara, race saddle and bridle, and fully-posable figure of Cheryl.
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