As far as back fractures go, it was a severe one. So much so John Kissick was lucky to walk again.
But Kissick is back in the saddle and he hopes to get his jockey licence back at the end of March.
He broke his back when he was flipped off a steer he was riding at Braidwood in October 2016.
It's taken more than three years, but he's back riding trackwork for Albury trainer Mitchell Beer and he rode three trials at Canberra's Thoroughbred Park on Friday night.
Kissick said it had been tough on every front - mentally, physically and financially - as he had to deal with not only a serious injury, but being unable to work as well.
But with a little help from his friends - and family - Kissick finally looks set to return to the sport he loves.
He was especially thankful to Queanbeyan trainer Joe Cleary and his wife Sharlene, who held a big fundraiser for him two years ago.
"It's been very tough, I'm not going to lie, it's been extremely tough at times. A few dark patches there," Kissick said. "It was a pretty severe fracture, not far off the spinal cord. I was very lucky to be walking.
"It took a long time to heal so I could start moving and doing things properly.
"With physio the last two years it's come good and it took a while to really knit, but once it did I'm looking good and feeling good so it's not too bad."
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Not only was it tough being unable to work, but when he was fit enough it was a matter of finding something.
Having left school in year 10, all Kissick had known was being a jockey and having that taken away meant he effectively had to start a new career.
He worked in the stables and also took to being a jockey manager and has Michael Travers as a client - although racing's regulations mean he'll have to give that up when he returns to racing.
"Joe and Sharlene helped me, and the racing industry [did as well]," he said.
"I lived with my nan for a year and my partner and I moved up to Wagga.
"I did a few other odd jobs outside of racing and then took up jockey managing and going back into the stables, and stable hand before I got my licence to ride trackwork.
"It's a privilege to be riding and you realise that when you get injured and you're out."
While he can finally see the finishing post, he still has some way to go.
He still needs to get his jockey licence back, which he felt would take another couple of months.
"It's good riding a few trials and I've got my approved rider licence, and within the next couple of months I'll apply for my jockey licence back and get back into it," Kissick said. "I'm hoping to be back end of March, early April is the goal, which I think is pretty realistic."