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Maija Vance aka @maija_vance

Maija always dreamt of being a jockey and started her apprenticeship before heading to QLD after her second season. Maija was leading Metropolitan female rider before heading back home to New Zealand.

Choosing to start riding over hurdles, on Maija's fourth race day her mount misjudged his stride and flipped at the second the last fence. Maija broke her ribs in 13 places, punctured both lungs, almost bit her tongue off and fractured 5 vertebrae in her back. Maija was left completely paralysed from the waist down.

After 3 months in hospital, Maija left in a wheelchair. Through her incredible (even a stronger word is needed) strength and tenacity, Maija worked incredibly hard and is now back walking, riding and even back at track work.

You can read more of her amazing story on our blog.

We are so proud to have Maija apart of the Empire team.