Jockey injured in fall
MEMBERS of south-east Queensland's close-knit horse racing industry held its collective breath at the weekend after popular Toowoomba jockey Kristy Banks sustained a serious spinal injury in a fall at Clifford Park racecourse.
The 30-year-old was riding August Bishop in the first race on Saturday about 5pm when the incident occurred some 200m into the 1200m race.
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said medical staff on scene reported Banks as having "no sensation from the waist down".
She was taken by ambulance to Toowoomba Hospital where she was stabilised before being airlifted to Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital, arriving about 10.30pm.
A Princess Alexandra Hospital spokesman told The Chronicle Banks had undergone surgery in the early hours of yesterday and that her condition since the operation was regarded as "stable".
"She is conscious and orientated which is a good thing," the spokesman said.
"She is resting and has been admitted to the hospital's high dependency unit."
The jockey's parents Julie and Graham Banks were at her bedside in Brisbane yesterday.
Mr Banks said her daughter had no movement in her legs but the operation had gone well, and it was too early to tell whether the injuries had left any long-term damage.
The family was relieved to have Kristy still with them, she said.
"We've got her and that's the main thing," Mrs Banks said.
"She had a punctured lung as well but she's moving her arms and she's fine in the head."
August Bishop's trainer Kevin Kemp said everyone was praying Banks would recover quickly.
"She's a great jockey and has been a good jockey for years but, unfortunately, these things happen in racing. We don't like to see any jockey get hurt and we are all hoping she comes out of this okay."
The region's chief steward Martin Knibbs said the incident was still under investigation.
The jockey was in career-best form when she rode four winners on the Toowoomba TAB program on December 19.
Her husband Dale is on crutches after breaking his leg in a trackwork fall last month.