Women in Sport is a new series by the Mudgee Guardian where we highlight female figures in sport across the region each week.
A love for horses and a passion for the outdoors led one of the most well known women in regional racing to where she is today.
Cheryl Crockett’s career alongside horses began at the age of 13 where her love for showing horses was sparked.
“I’m ancient now,” Cheryl laughed.
When her “top horse” died from a twisted bowel in early 1975, Crockett set out to find another Anglo-Arab.
Her search led to a purchase of a stallion, and so, Cheryl found herself on another quest to find a horse breaker.
This was the moment she met her future husband, Max Crockett.
The master horse breaker bought the stallion from Cheryl and her path with horse racing was set.
“That’s how it all started,” she said.
In 1979, the couple married and moved to Gulgong some eight years later.
The Crockett’s ran Guntawang Stud for a number of years as a training establishment before moving on to Goree soon after.
“We had everyone’s horses out there because Max trained and pre-trained and broke in every leading trainers horses in Sydney,” Cheryl said.
Next stop was Mudgee, and it’s where the Crockett’s remain.
“Don’t ask me what date because I wouldn’t have a clue, we’ve been here a long time now,” Cheryl laughed.
Throughout her time with horses, Mrs Crockett rode sidesaddle and won five times in Sydney.
For years Cheryl gave up showing horses but later got back into dressage, competing in Mudgee and Dubbo.
When she sold her last show horse three years ago, she directed her focus entirely towards race horses.
When the Mudgee Guardian spoke to Cheryl at the 2018 Mudgee Cup, she was spotted putting ribbons in the horses mane.
“I’ve done that all my life,” she said.
“Whether they can gallop, if they look the part I always think they feel better.”
Continuing to carry on the family tradition, daughter of Max and Cheryl, Yasmin Crockett competes in dressage, while son, Cameron Crockett is a trainer.
Now that Cheryl has her own racing licence, her days are mostly dedicated to training.
“It’s just seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” she said.
“Nothing has changed much, I’m still doing the same things I’ve always done.”
When asked what her future looks like, Cheryl said simply,
“Just to continue as I am.”