Sequoyah was a bay mare bred in Ireland by the County Tipperary-based Brittas House Stud, which is owned by Peter Magnier, the son of John Magnier. During her racing career she carried the colours of John Magnier's wife Susan and was trained by Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle.
She was from the thirteenth crop of foals sired by Sadler's Wells, who won the Irish 2000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes and Irish Champion Stakes in 1984 went on to be the Champion sire on fourteen occasions. Sequoyah's dam Brigid showed modest racing ability, winning one minor race from five starts, but become a successful broodmare, producing several other good winners including Listen. She was a full-sister to Or Vison, the dam of Saffron Walden and Dolphin Street (Prix de la Foret).
Rather than making her debut in a maiden race Sequoyah began her racing career in the Group 3 Railway Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh on 2 July and finished third of the five runners behind her stablemate Honours List. She was dropped in class for a seven-furlong maiden at Tipperary Racecourse later that month and started 4/5 favourite against six opponents. Ridden by Mick Kinane, she led from the start and won by one and a half lengths from the Jim Bolger-trained Mood Indigo. Aidan O'Brien said that the filly would "do nothing but improve".
On 20 August at the Curragh, Sequoyah started 4/1 favourite for the Listed Debutante Stakes, but after taking the lead in the last quarter mile she was caught in the final strides and beaten a short head by Affianced. Her stablemate Imagine was three lengths back in third. The filly was then stepped up to Group 1 class for the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the same track on 3 September and started 9/4 favourite. Affianced and Imagine were again in opposition while the other seven runners included the British challenger Hotelgenie Dot Com who was made the 7/2 second choice in the betting. With Jamie Spencer in the saddle she raced towards the rear of the field as her unfancied stablemate Jungle Moon acted as pacemaker, before beginning to make progress entering the last quarter mile. She took the lead just inside the final furlong and drew away to by two and half lengths from Hotelgenie Dot Com.
On her final appearance of the season Sequoyah was sent to England to contest the Cheveley Park Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket Racecourse on 26 September. After tracking the leaders she was outpaced in the closing stages and finished fifth of the thirteen runners behind Regal Rose.