Motherhood was the inspiration that drew Peta Edwards away from racing. It was also the motive that sparked her return.
Four years ago, Edwards bowed out of racing and handed in her jockey silks.
She rode her last race on Non Compos at Geraldton on Australia Day.
For Edwards, who travelled half way across the country to complete the final six months of an apprenticeship in Perth, her priorities had changed.
The former North Queensland jockey swapped roles and with cheerful readiness she become a full-time mum to her two-year-old son Tatum.
“I wanted to devote all my time and energies to my son,” Edwards said.
“It was a lifestyle choice to be a full-time mum at the time.
“He was at an age where I wanted to be at home.”
After nearly five years away Edwards got the urge to get back in the saddle.
She toyed with the idea of taking out a trainer’s license, but was quickly talked out of it by a trusted adviser.
“Dad, who trains in Queensland, gave me a kick up the backside and told me to get back to riding,” Edwards said.
“He said I had ability as a jockey and the talent to win a race in the city.
“He said you can still train when you are sixty, but you won’t be riding at that age.
“He urged me to make the most of it while I could.
“I also wanted to get back for Tatum so he could see me ride.
“He was getting older and has been a big part of my comeback.
“He has been there all the way with me.
“He has seen what his mum has had to go through and the hard work it’s taken to get back.”
With Tatum as a source of motivation and her father’s advice ringing in her ears, Edwards plotted her path back to riding about six months ago.
However, despite being mentally refreshed, Edwards had to overcome physical hurdles.
“My weight ballooned to 84kg,” Edwards said.
“I’ve got it down to 52.5kg at the moment.
“It’s been a pretty big achievement to keep it down.
“I’m happy where my fitness is at.”
Edwards marked her return at Pinjarra on February 25. It was an inauspicious beginning.
She finished down the track on Bombadier Bruce, finishing more 11 lengths from Invisible Pro.
However, the spoils of victory were just around the corner and last Saturday at Mingenew, Edwards posted a double.
“It was exciting and a really good day,” Edwards said.
“It was just terrific to be able to reward people who have supported me.
“I have been overwhelmed by the network of support I’ve received.”
Edwards’ comeback gathers momentum at Pingrup on Saturday. She has been booked to ride Incoherent in the Pingrup Cup (1660m).
“I love the atmosphere of country racing,” Edwards said.
“In coming months, I’m looking forward to riding at Carnarvon and Port Hedland.”