There wasn't much of a choice for Cassie Schmidt when she grew up in a family who had horse racing running through their veins.
Her dad was a jockey while her mum and both her grandfathers were all trainers.
Now employed by Racing NSW through Team Thoroughbred - with a focus on retraining and rehoming racehorses - the 28-year-old defied almost every piece of advice that came from anyone in the family.
"I wasn't designed to be a jockey," she said.
"Then I decided I'd give it a go and everyone laughed at me and told me not to even bother because I was never going to make it."
Despite being nearly six feet tall, Schmidt completed almost six full years in the saddle and claimed some prestigious honours along the way.
Her grandfather's offer of an apprenticeship would turn out to be what she needed to send her on her way.
Schmidt lost up to 15 kilograms to reach riding weight throughout the course of the six years. It was normal not to eat for six out of seven days.
"I was skin and bone ... there was nothing of me, but I worked really hard at it and wore a wetsuit every day and stripped four and five kilos before each race meeting," she said.
Despite the taxing six years on her body, it was all worth it when she became the leading rider in the Northern Rivers in 2013 before achieving higher honours on both sides of the border.
She was awarded the NSW apprentice of the year and then went on to Queensland and won a provincial premiership.
"I was more successful than I thought and thought if I could ride for six months, just to prove everyone wrong, and have one race, I wouldn't have cared," she said.
"I got six years out of it and my body couldn't handle it physically anymore."
At the end of her career while "really struggling" with the weight loss side of things, Schmidt provided advice for a number of apprentices.
And then one phone call enabled her to hang the silks up to take up the new job with Racing NSW.
"I got a phone call from Peter V'Landys and he said he wanted me to have an interview in Sydney. I had no idea what it was about, but then he offered me a full-time job working with apprentices and doing the rehoming of the racehorses.
"It came at the right time when my body was giving up on me."
She knows the work with Racing NSW won't be forever, but it has allowed her to set up a location at Bud Regal Park (west of Port Macquarie) for training purposes in the future.
The involvement with the horse racing industry is the one thing she won't give up.
"I would like to get into the training side of things later on; we're pretty set up here where I can do that well so that might be my next venture after the retraining has finished," she said.
"I don't think I would ever be able to get out of (racing). I do love it, but my partner is a jockey, my sister's partner is a jockey, my dad is still a trainer, my cousin is a trainer and pop is a trainer so we're never getting out of it no matter what we try to do."
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