Racing community behind Kristy Banks

Toowoomba Turf Club chairman Bob Frappell said the racing industry would unite in support of jockey Kristy Banks who fell from August Bishop at Toowoomba on Saturday.

Banks was airlifted to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital with serious injuries which left her without movement below her waist.

Banks, in her early 30s, sustained a fractured back, spinal cord damage and a punctured lung.

She underwent five hours of surgery early Sunday morning.

“This is absolutely tragic for all at Toowoomba,” Frappell said.

“But we have to remain positive and hope the news will improve for Kristy.

“When anyone gets hurts, it hurts us all badly, no matter who it is.

“But because Kristy is such a lovely person and popular girl, the impact has hit us even harder this time.

“All jockeys are very brave people and we need to always be conscious of the high risks involved in their job.”

Frappell said financial aid for Banks will be a high priority for industry members.

“When the time is right, we will see what the family’s needs are,” Frappell said.

“It is something for the future. Our main concern for now is her condition.

“But the racing community will rally.

“The industry will unite.

“Fund-raising to assist Kristy will happen.”

Close friends and jockeys Skye Bogenhuber and Philip Wolfgram summed up the feelings of the racing community.

“There is a big empty hole for everyone here at the track without Kristy alongside us,” Bogenhuber said.

“She is such a great person who is so strong and everyone is really positive in their thoughts for her.”

Wolfgram spent time with Banks during a visit on Monday.

“Kristy is remaining very positive,” Wolfgram said.

“She was sitting up during the visit and we were all encouraged by her attitude.

“There is no doom and gloom from Kristy and because she is so strong, that helped give us all more strength.”

Banks has a career total of 311 winners including 15 in the current racing season.

Banks, who is married to horse breaker Dale Groves, was a star on the show-riding circuit before starting an apprenticeship with her father.

She rode her first winner in 1996.

Her last city winner was Carry Me Bluey at Doomben on September 17.