'Smashed up': Girl recovers from freak accident to inspire with win
EIGHT months ago Zoe White was bedridden with a fractured back and a bloodied face, the aftermath of a savage fall while racing.
But on Saturday you wouldn't picture her that way as she proudly hoisted the Gladstone Cup above her head.
Riding Preen Queen, the 18-year-old was humble and proud of her win for the main race at the Ferguson Park meet on Saturday.
But taking on her dream career as a jockey hasn't come easy.
In December she was involved in a freak accident during a race at Thangool, where she was thrown from her mount Scintiller.
Zoe suffered extensive injuries, mainly facial, including fractures to cheeks and eye sockets, a deep wound on her lip and broken and missing teeth.
She was 17 years old and had been racing for five months.
"I was smashed up pretty bad, I had three fractures to my back, I smashed up
my face, so it took a while to get back on the track," she said.
But the fall wasn't enough to keep her from racing, because three months later she was back riding.
"I actually don't remember the fall so my mind is set that if I don't remember it, it didn't happen.
"I had no second thoughts on getting back into it."
Zoe said she was feeling "quietly confident" coming into the Gladstone Cup, riding a mare that she was comfortable with.
Adding to her confidence was her Middlemount Cup win last month.
"I know the mare handles heavy tracks well so I thought she was in for a chance."
Narrowly the Bill Trimble trained Preen Queen at the finishing line in the seven-horse race were Gas Burner and Tiverton. Zoe has had several race meets at Gladstone, said she enjoys the thrill of being in front.
"I like winning at Gladstone.
"What I don't like is getting behind the others in the race because the kick- back hurts."
She's been dubbed as "one to watch" in the racing industry, and this week she returns to her home track at Rockhampton.