Sheila Laxon

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Sheila Kathleen Laxon, ONZM (born in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales), was the first female thoroughbred horse trainer to win the Australian cups double, the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup, with her mare Ethereal in 2001.[1] Her efforts were recognised when she took out the Fred Hoysted Award for the Australian season's outstanding training performance.

Laxon was born in Pontypridd. Her early childhood was spent on a small farm in Wales, run by her mother. Her father was away from home much of the time working as a ship's pilot. It was on the farm that Laxon developed a passion for horses through pony clubs, gymkhanas and showjumping.

Before emigrating to New Zealand around 1980, she spent time working with English trainer John L. Dunlop at his stables in Arundel, Sussex.

In New Zealand in 1983 she married trainer Laurie Laxon who had a large stable with many successful horses. She rode many of them in trackwork, including Empire Rose[2] who won the 1988 Melbourne Cup. She took out her own training license in 1997.

In the 2002 Queen's Birthday Honours, Laxon was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to racing.[3]

Laxon is still currently training in a partnership with John Symons at Whiteheads Creek in country Victoria.


  1. ^ 2001 Melbourne Cup result
  2. ^ Inside Running. Bowing to the Duke.
  3. ^ The Queen's Birthday and Golden Jubilee Honours List 2002. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 27 December 2012.