It’s been over 400 days since Emma Stent last rode in a race, but the apprentice jockey can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Stent broke her ankle in a track work accident, but what was originally diagnosed as a six-month injury has extended to well over a year.
For a young rider striving to make her mark in racing, a lengthy stint on the sidelines away from the saddle has been a bitter pill to swallow.
Indentured to experienced Muchea trainer, Alan Mathews, Stent kicked off her riding career on the North-West country circuit in 2013.
A year later in Kalgoorlie she stole the limelight and earned national acclaim when she booted home five winners on the seven race card.
A winner of 86 races before her injury setback, Stent admits her recovery has been frustrating, but she is determined to bounce back.
“I have been using an ultra sound machine on my ankle for the past few weeks and there has been significant improvement,” Stent said.
“In the time I have been using it my ankle has healed to around 70 per cent where before it was only at 50 per cent.
“By the time I see the doctor again next January I am pretty confident it will be close to 100 per cent or close to it.
“My goal had been to get back to riding in late January, but realistically it will be early February or in March.”
Despite the setbacks Stent believes there has been a silver lining to her long term absence.
Time away from racing has given her a new and improved perspective in her chosen sport.
“I never thought the time away I would spend the whole time waiting to get back to work,” Stent said.
“I miss my horses and getting out to the races with people I pretty much have something in common with.
“I definitely miss talking to the boss and getting out to the stables each morning catching up with people.”
Stent rode her last winner at Northam when she steered Aquajinsky to an all the way win for trainer, Ivan Haggerty.
Stent has pencilled in a return in the New Year and is burning to make an immediate impact.
“I’m lucky that I still have my 3kg claim which will be a big help,” Stent said.
“I’m looking to come straight back and get the ball rolling.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli