It was the news that seemed somewhat inevitable but it was still no less devastating to hear, Kristy Banks will never walk again.
Banks was involved in a race fall at Toowoomba on New Year’s eve when her mount August Bishop clipped heels and brought her down.
Unlike many falls Banks has full recollection of the entire incident, she knows what happened and knows how she felt right afterwards.
“I remember my horse clipped the heels of another horse and down I came. I was conscious the whole time but I knew something was wrong,” she said.
Incredibly though so soon after hearing the news she’ll be a paraplegic for life, Banks already has a remarkably positive attitude.
This is all the more amazing given the Magic Millions is only 24 hours away.
Banks had one of the highlights of her career two years ago when she scored a ride in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic with Spirit Of Boom.
She may not have won the event or even finished in the money but the thrill of the event still rates among her proudest moments.
“It was a tremendous buzz. It was the only time I was involved in the Magic Millions,” she said.
“I’m sure all the jockeys riding this year will get an adrenalin rush.”
The reality for Banks though is that type of buzz will never be repeated and she faces a gruelling period of rehab both physically and mentally.
She will need to relearn every aspect her life and it will be months before she can even start the process of getting back to a normal routine.
“I’m trying to deal with it and accept my future. I’ve started physio and I’m hopeful of getting home within three months,” she said.
“There is so much to learn. But I have to think positively.”
Ever the competitor, Banks even has aspirations of getting back to racing again, albeit with a little more horsepower.
“I’m going to learn how to drive a car. I’d like to think there might be something to keep my involvement in racing,’ she said.
It’s not just her professional life that has been ruined, Banks had plans to start a family with husband Dale Groves in the near future as well.
There’s no word yet on whether that will one day still be a possibility but for now all thoughts are on working through rehab as best she can, something she’ll do with the unwavering support of the entire racing community.