International Women’s Day feature: Gemma Hewitt

Already a Group 1 winner in her home state of NSW, Gemma Hewitt is starting to make her mark in Queensland.

The 30-year-old, who trains and drives, brought a team of horses north for the Constellations Carnival of 2021 and has remained since, setting up her stable on the south-side of Brisbane alongside fellow former Bathurst trainer Jack Butler.

Harness is a code that is littered with strong female representation in both the training and driving ranks and Hewitt has been a welcome addition to the state over the last year.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Racing Queensland is recognising the efforts of three hard-working and talented ladies from around the state with Hewitt representing the harness code.

To mark the occasion, RQ spoke to Samantha Collett, Hewitt and Jedda Cutlack about their recent achievements, the significance of International Women’s Day and what they hope to see for women in the industry going forward.

You only recently relocated to Queensland, can you tell us a bit about that move and why Queensland?

I moved to Queensland seven months ago, I brought some horses up for the winter carnival that I thought was suitable at the time and I had in the back of my mind that I might stay or go home to Bathurst.

I felt the horses went really well and they enjoyed the change of scenery, as I did as well. I am happy to give it a shot, leave behind the cold Bathurst winter and I am loving it so far.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you and why do you think it’s so important to celebrate it?

International Women’s Day is all about recognising equality in sports for me.

I think it is really important to celebrate how far females have come with gender equality in the work place, especially in the racing industry, because participation is quite large for women.

I think it is widely and greatly recognised that women do a great job.

In your time in the industry, how have you seen the growth of female participation and achievement?

In my time in harness racing, the involvement and achievement of women has been incredible.

There has been very successful drivers that are female here in Queensland and it was the same in NSW when I was based there.

These days we see more and more female trainers as well, which is great.

Going forward, do you believe that female participation is on an upward trajectory and what more can be done in that space?

I think there is more and more women becoming involved in racing every day.

That is from stable hands to drivers and trainers. It is really great to see so many female mini-trotting drivers these days, as well, as they are the future of the sport.

There is a great number of young girls driving at the Queensland clubs for mini-trotters, which is great to see.

Racing Queensland is proud to support International Women’s Day and its bid to create a gender equal world.


By Racing Queensland