Tracey Diederich is an educator; whether it be teaching physical education at high school or coaching riders at BML Horse Performance.

In 30 years of teaching Diederich has demonstrated passion, empathy, patience, encouragement motivation and devotion to her students.

It’s those skill sets that Diederich will lean on when she makes the transition from educator to trainer of thoroughbred horses.

At Pinjarra on Thursday Diederich enters a new phase when she becomes the newest member of the Western Australian training fraternity.

Realising a long-held ambition, Diederich will saddle her first starter in a race: Universal Honour in the Lane Ford Maiden (1200m).

“It something that I have always wanted to do and the timing felt right,” said Diederich.

“I’m about to turn 50 and if I didn’t do it now when would the right time be?

“I’ve been around horses for the majority of my life and it feels like a natural extension.

“I’ve had encouragement from a lot of people but the biggest support has been my partner, Corrie.”

As a novice trainer Friederich is a willing pupil who is prepared to absorb and soak up information like a sponge.

She will draw on the experiences gained from working with two of the state’s most respected trainers.

“BML is right next door to Ray Sweetman who was a top horseman,” said Diederich.

“He was a great mentor and I learnt a lot from him.

“Universal Honour will race in Ray’s colours.

“Earlier on I worked with Bruce Hyde.

“I would be there every day after school.”

Fair Alert was an outstanding sprinter who won 15 races, was placed on eight occasions and earned $426,290 in prize money from 43 starts.

His best success came in 2001 when he defeated Old Fashion and Corporate Bruce in the Group 2 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).

Diederich admits there are a few stage nerves ahead of Universal Honour’s debut performance but was taken by the gelding’s trial hit out when a neck second to Cosmic Storm who came out and ran a creditable third to Vonus at Northam.

“I’m very nervous,” said Diederich.

“He came through the trial well and did a pretty good job.

“I’m hoping it all goes right.”

Diederich has entrusted Mandy Richmond to take the Universal Honor mount.  In a capacity field of 14 they combine from barrier four.

“Mandy is a super girl and does all the work on Universal Honor,” said Diederich.

“She knows and understands him as well as anyone.”

RWWA: Julio Santarelli