Two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and New York Times reporter Sarah Maslin Nir and co-author Raymond White, Jr. will unveil their new book, The Jockey & Her Horse, Inspired by the True Story of the First Black female Jockey, Cheryl White, on Saturday, Sept. 2 at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. This special event, which features a book signing and reading, begins at 9 a.m. Free copies of the book will be provided for attendees under the age of 18 years old, while supplies last. At 10:30 a.m., the authors will read from the book, which has a target audience of ages 8-12. Organizations participating in the event virtually include the Ed Brown Society, the Compton Cowboys, Ebony Horsewoman, and Legacy Equine Academy.
In the follow-up to her book The Flying Horse, Maslin Nir has teamed up with White — the brother of the book’s main character — to tell the remarkable story inspired by the journey of Cheryl White, the first Black female jockey, and her horse, Jetolara.
Synopsis: Cheryl loves horses. She’s been studying thoroughbreds at her family’s horse-racing stables since she was old enough to ride on the shoulders of her father, a famous horse trainer. Cheryl wants to be a jockey. One problem — she is a girl, and there has never been a Black female jockey in history!
Jetolara is a young thoroughbred finding his place in the herd. When Cheryl literally falls onto his back and Jeto sprints off across the pasture, Cheryl discovers that she doesn’t just want to be a jockey, she is a jockey — and she and Jeto were born to race. Together, girl and horse make history and show everyone that once you learn to love yourself, the world is yours.
Review: “Sarah Maslin Nir has drawn on a life in love with horses to craft this wonderful novel based on the girlhood of the first Black woman jockey, Cheryl White. Like White, Nir knows the exhilaration of pounding hooves as well as the profound connection that can form between a horse and rider. This is the kind of history we all should know: a moving story of courage and resilience.” — Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner
About the Authors: Sarah Maslin Nir is a New York Times reporter, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and the author of Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal and The Flying Horse, published by Cameron Kids. She lives and works in New York City.
Ohio-based Raymond White, Jr. hails from a family of racehorse professionals and has held almost every job there is in the racing world — jockey agent, exercise rider, assistant trainer, groom — except for jockey, like his sister, Cheryl, because he was too tall! The Jockey & Her Horse is his first book.
About the artist: The book is illustrated by Laylie Frazier, a fine artist and illustrator inspired by the natural world. She lives in Houston.
The book launch, reading, and complimentary copies is sponsored and hosted by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA). The event at the Museum runs concurrently with the Museum’s Saturday Morning Social series, which is geared toward kids and sponsored by the Belmont Child Care Association. The Saturday Morning Social will also feature interactive experiences and activities for kids of all ages from a number of our local partners, including Amplify Horse Racing, Caffe Lena School of Music, Hop On Home Rabbit Sanctuary, and Saratoga Performing Arts Center. There will also be an appearance by Upset, the miniature horse, courtesy of Impressions of Saratoga.
There will be an additional book giveaway and signing from noon to 1 p.m. at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s satellite pavilion at Saratoga Race Course, sponsored by NYRA. There will also be a special named race and trophy presentation in the winner’s circle honoring Cheryl White on the Saturday card at Saratoga.
Inquiries about this event may be sent to museum educator Matt Reichel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 584-0400 ext. 118.
For more information about the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, including upcoming events, please visit www.racingmuseum.org or call (518) 584-0400.
Contact: Brien Bouyea
(518) 584-0400 ext. 133