Sport

Jockey Kayla Nisbet turns broken bones into a positive to find love of racing

Luckless Canberra jockey Kayla Nisbet has vowed to turn her nightmare injury run into a positive, insisting her broken bones have helped her fall in love with racing again.

But Nisbet's latest setback will keep her out of the saddle for at least three months as she begins a painstaking recovery after breaking her tibia in Gundagai on Monday.

Nisbet fell off Zaritzie in the mounting yard before race three when the horse reared up and flipped over, landing on Nisbet's leg less than two months after she made a comeback to racing.

The 20-year-old took a five-month sabbatical at the end of last year after becoming disillusioned with the sport following struggles to maintain her weight, a broken foot and a broken wrist.

Her broken tibia will keep her in a cast for the next three months, but Nisbet is already planning her next comeback.

"I am determined to come back ... people have asked do you think this is the end," Nisbet said.

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"Had I not been riding for a year or so and I wasn't getting many rides, maybe I would have pulled the pin now.

"But I feel like I was just starting to get going and get rides, then this happens. I definitely don't want to end on this note."

Nisbet was part of the David Hayes stable in Victoria as one of the bright young stars of racing last year.

She lost her love of the sport when she struggled to maintain a light weight with fasting to get down to size for different rides.

But she returned to Canberra to reignite her career. Nisbet is unfazed by her latest injury and determined to use it as a positive for her career.

She wanted to get up and ride Zaritzie, but stewards wanted her to prove she could put pressure on her left leg.

"I didn't think it was broken, I was in a bit of pain. But when they asked me to stand up, we heard a crack. We knew it was broken then," Nisbet said.

"If this happened this time last year I probably would have finished up because I wasn't enjoying it. But I was really loving riding again when this happened. My passion is back.

"They said it could have been worse and I could have broken the other bone as well. So I guess I'm lucky."

Nisbet still has 14 months to go before she completes her apprenticeship.

"It has made me realise that you should only ride if you love doing it. It's a dangerous sport and there's no fun in riding and falling off. I really believe you should only do it if you love it," Nisbet said.

"It's been a rough 18 months; it feels like I'll be an apprentice for ever."

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