It was only a matter of weeks ago when Amelia Denby was bed-ridden, unable to even roll on to her side.
The jockey was in that position after a horror fall during the Wellington Boot carnival in April.
But now, three months later, Denby is back in the saddle and will ride at Wellington Race Club again on Tuesday.
“It’s good to be back because it was a bit of a nasty injury and it was a longer recovery than just a normal broken bone,” Denby said.
A “nasty injury” is right.
Denby was riding Daliapour’s Beauty at Wellington on April 7 when she was thrown from the saddle after her mount ran into a horse which had fallen in front of her.
It was a sickening incident and one which resulted in Denby and fellow jockey Andrew Banks being transported to hospital immediately.
Denby confessed she couldn’t remember much from the fall, she also suffered a concussion, but it soon became clear.
“When I initially was told I’d broken my back it was overwhelming,” she said.
“But once I got talked through it and was told straight away I would make a full recovery it was a relief. But that initial diagnosis really was overwhelming.”
Denby had suffered a T7 and T9 wedge fracture. The force at which she had landed on the ground after being tossed into the air out of the saddle had compressed her spine.
“I was bed-bound for a couple of weeks,” Denby said.
“I couldn’t get up on my own and I couldn’t even lay on my side. I had to sleep on my back because of the inflammation.”
Denby had nothing but praise for those who helped her in the recovering and once she was told she could stand and walk on her own, she was immediately back at the track.
Her fiance, Jake Hull, is also a jockey so spent time watching him race.
At the end of June Denby was told she could get back in the saddle and she will head back to Wellington having had 11 rides in her return.
“It’s always hard to start again and it’s really important you get that support and trainers understand it’s hard,” she said.
“But I am really grateful for the support I’ve had and I feel I’m back to 100 percent now.
“Now it’s a matter of finding those nice horses and that’s the hardest part, getting that book full again.”
Denby will have three rides at Wellington on Tuesday and two of those will be for Dubbo trainer Michael Lunn.
Lunn, who trains Daliapour’s Beauty, gave Denby a ride at Dubbo Turf Club on Saturday and he will have Alpine Royal and Brave Maddie in action at Wellington.
The former will contest the Mudgee Machinery Maiden Handicap (1400m), the first of the day, while the latter will be in the McDonald’s Wellington and Dubbo Class 1 and Maiden Plate (1700m).
Brave Maddie is the one Denby is most excited about, having seen the mare produce a “tough” run to finish second at Coonamble last start with Hull in the saddle.
Denby will also ride Contract for Mark Schmetzer.
Racing start at 1.05pm on Tuesday.