Cheryl White’s ride

Ya gotta love Google alerts. Here’s an update on a fascinating “character” from the Appaloosa racing world.

America’s first black female jockey, now a California racing official, has a look back
By Larry Muhammad
The Louisville Courier-Journal

Whatever happened to Cheryl White, America’s first black female jockey?

She came in dead last in her first race in 1971 but made history, was on the cover of Jet magazine and briefly enjoyed celebrity status at tracks in the Midwest.

“That was a cool time, a fun time,” said White, now 53 and a racing official in California. “Female jockeys were still a novelty, and I got worldwide coverage for being the first black” female jockey.

She went on to become the nation’s top Appaloosa rider, racking up 750 wins over a 21-year riding career.

She has received the African Americans in Thoroughbred Racing Award from Lexington’s Bluegrass Black Business Association, and was one of seven “Fast Women in Sports” honorees at the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles.

But White was mostly a name from the past until Kentucky publisher and racing enthusiast Tina Hines tracked her down while researching a book on female jockeys.

Categories: Miscellaneous


  1. I grew up watching cheryl Said,

    January 24, 2008 @ 11:58 am

    Cheryl White is my hero. I grew up watch cheryl and her father train there horses. Being a women of color this was a great expericence for me. I was 8 when cheryl made history. My family lived across the road in rome, ohio. Cant wait to read the book.

    Cordie Bussey-Paige

  2. Tim Chester Said,

    July 26, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    I saw Cheryl ride at Pimlico for the Ladys Legends race also jockey Terry West a woman of color rode in the 70s at Maryland and WVa race tracks.Slyvia Harris rode a woman of color for a short time.I used to see Cheryl in the Appaloosa News on winning photos

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