Sport

Kristy's back in the saddle after horse racing accident

Kristy Banks and husband Dale Groves with her saddle and safety belt for her barrel racing debut this weekend.
Kristy Banks and husband Dale Groves with her saddle and safety belt for her barrel racing debut this weekend. Gerard Walsh

TEN months after breaking her back in a horse racing accident, Toowoomba rider Kristy Banks will return to sport in the open barrel race at the Warwick Rodeo this weekend.

Ms Banks has a close association with the Rose City - her father Graham went to school in Warwick and is now a horse trainer at Oakey.

Her uncle and aunt Neil and June Banks also live in the town.

She was in Warwick on Tuesday night at a presentation to six competitors who are being sponsored by Supa IGA Warwick in the annual rodeo this weekend.

Ms Banks was a jockey for 16 years and won 10 listed races in Brisbane and rode in the Magic Millions before being injured at Clifford Park, Toowoomba, on New Year's Eve.

She was the inaugural junior barrel race winner at the Warwick Rodeo in 1995 before the sport took a back seat to racing for the next 17 years.

As she is a paraplegic and has no feeling in her legs, a saddle has been adapted with seat belts for her to compete in barrel racing.

Husband Dale Groves said leg straps had also been added to the saddle to hold his wife's legs while competing.

Soon after her accident, Ms Banks realised she could either stop or get out there and do things.

"I saw a girl (in the same situation) riding in America and talked to her on Facebook," she said.

"I didn't think dressage was for me so am going to compete in barrel racing."

She has no intention of her Warwick Rodeo appearance being a one-off; she plans more rodeo appearances.

Ms Banks has been inspired by the support she has received since her accident, including the backing for a fundraising rodeo in Toowoomba to help her.

After spending $15,000 on a suitable horse for her return to sport, Sky Racing gave her a cheque for the full cost.

"Bob is a five-year-old gelding and a pretty good horse, I am not as good as he is yet," Ms Banks said.

Twice a week, she trains on the horse and had a run at Rosewood in a National Barrel Racing Association event.

"We went all right," she said.

As for her performance this weekend, Ms Banks has no expectation of a place; she just wants to complete the course.

Husband Dale Groves, 33, is a regular in the open bull ride at Warwick and is back from a foot injury sustained in track work.

"The candle (as a bull rider) is still burning," Mr Groves said.

Topics:  accident, barrel racing, horse racing, kristy banks, sport




Teenager trapped in ute rollover south of Warwick

Emergency services were called about 9.30am.

UPDATE: Emergency crews are at the scene of a rollover.

Taxi driver injured after knifepoint robbery

DRIVER ATTACKED: Warwick taxi rank, where a driver picked up a teenager who held him up at knifepoint on Thursday night.

Camera footage will be the key to arresting an armed robber

Latest deals and offers

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles