Jockey Cheryl White: Broke Racial Barriers for African Americans in Horse Racing

3 Posted by - December 14, 2022 - Black First, BLACK WOMEN, LATEST POSTS

A little-known fact is Cheryl White was a jockey “gem” that most people never knew existed. She raced horses like only a few of the best did during that time. During the time White was racing horses, there were not too many African-American jockeys. But, despite the lack of blacks in the profession, White went on to become one of the first black female jockeys to win five thoroughbred races in “one day” at a major track. She made her mark while riding her mother’s horse, Ace Reward.

It was tough for black jockeys but harder for females and especially African American women. In White’s 21 years of racing, she won 750 races. At one point, she held a five-time winning streak at Appaloosa. In 1990, she was presented an Award of Merit by the African-American Sports Hall of Fame.

White’s license was suspended after it was discovered that she made a $2 bet while working as an official. She attended Gamblers Anonymous and exercised horses to support herself during her suspension. In 1990, she was presented an Award of Merit by the African-American Sports Hall of Fame. In 1991, White passed the California Horse Racing Board’s Steward Examination. She has since served as a racing official at various track location. Lexington, Kentucky will honor African-Americans in racing in their new park, White will be included.



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  • Joseph Murray June 20, 2019 - 6:29 pm

    Wow that’s something, that when we do black history be month in February, her name is never mentioned. I’m looking forward to seeing more black historians that I never be heard of , thanks Joseph Murray.

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  • JULIE DEWYER July 2, 2019 - 8:46 am

    This article is horribly written with many facts left out or half written, not to mention spelling and grammar errors. How do people like this even get published!

    #1 PLENTY of people knew who Cheryl white was when she raced. She was always in high demand at the tracks she rode at.

    #2 Ace Reward was her mother’s horse and the 1st horse she ever rode in a race, but had nothing to do with the 5 wins in one day.

    #3 Cheryl was the 1st female ever to win 5 races in one day.

    #4 “a five time winning streak at appaloosa “… What the hell does that even mean? She was 5 times leading Appaloosa rider, but Appaloosa is a breed of horse not a location.

    #5 You mention the award of merit a second time as though you forgot you already said that.

    #6 Make it sound like her jockey’s license was suspended for bedding. Especially since you don’t mention that she became a steward until after you talk about the suspension. To clarify her stewards license was suspended for betting, not her jockey’s license, since she was no longer a jockey at the time.

    Please get your facts straight, learned to write a cohesive article and keep things in order. Cheryl White is an amazing woman, but your article does her a great disservice!

  • Dee Zagin July 9, 2019 - 10:33 am

    On May 25th, 2019 Cheryl had an asthma attack, which in turn caused a heart attack. Cheryl was taken to St. Elizabeth hospital in Youngstown OH unresponsive. She has been in a coma ever since that terrible night. Please keep her in your prayers, the prognosis isnt good.