As a champion jockey, Yalangur resident Kristy Banks is used to the odds being in her favour.
However, Kristy found herself betting against the future of her riding career after she sustained a serious spinal cord injury during a race at Clifford Park on the last night of 2011.
“I sustained a high-level injury after the accident, it was a really terrible time,” she said.
“I had to come to the heartbreaking realisation that I might never be in the saddle again.”
That was seven years ago – today, not only is Kristy riding regularly as a keen barrel racer, she’s raising a little jockey of her own.
“My son Nash is four years old now and he definitely inherited his love of riding from his parents,” Kristy said, referring to her husband Dale who rides racehorses.
“He has his own miniature pony, Emi, that he just loves to ride.”
Kristy said she loves being a mum and her supportive family had helped her flourish after some difficult months post-injury.
“I still love riding and I can still ride independently, only now I just need a little bit of help from Dale to get on the saddle,” she said.
“It was a scary time right after my fall, but I was able to receive advice and guidance from Spinal Life Australia’s Peer Support Team, who share their experience with spinal cord injury with newly-injured patients at the Spinal Injuries Unit.
“They talked about how, despite the new challenges you will face, you can still live a happy and fulfilling life after injury.
“That’s something that thankfully I’ve been able to experience for myself.”
Kristy has recently partnered with Spinal Life Australia to raise funds to support other people with spinal cord injury find their best post-injury life – visit www.spinal.com.au/donate for more information.