It never entered his mind at the time, but top young jockey Clint Johnston Porter believes his injury setback could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
It’s been nearly five months since Johnston-Porter fractured a vertebra in a track accident, but the talented rider can see light at the end of the tunnel.
Johnston-Porter is working hard to get back in the saddle and says time away from racing has given him a new perspective on the sport he loves.
“I spent about a month away travelling overseas in Europe and it was good to get away,” Johnston-Porter said.
“In racing you don’t get that extended time to do it unless you are injured so you have to make the most of it.
“It was the first time I had been out of Australia and I got to see most of the cities, but Switzerland was a favourite.
“It was a good experience all round and I got to refresh the mind mentally, but I’m looking forward to getting back.”
Jockeys are a tough breed and Johnston-Porter’s tough and arduous campaign to get back to full fitness commenced in earnest a week ago.
The young hoop, whose last ride was aboard Alta Sull’amore for Dan Morton in June, has locked in a return by the end of the year.
“I commenced physio last week and my goal is to get back by around Xmas time if the recovery goes according to plan,” Johnston-Porter said.
“My doctor said the back is healed and it’s now a matter of getting the muscles around it working and getting stronger again.
“I have lost a lot of fitness since the accident, but I’m confident with hard work and commitment I will get back pretty soon.”
Johnston-Porter feared being out of racing he would be out of mind out of sight, but says he has been motivated by the support from industry members.
“I’ve mostly kept a positive attitude, but at times it can be hard just watching the races and it does gets you down,” Johnston-Porter.
“But I’ve had a lot of support from people like Jason Miller, Dan Morton and Brock Lewthwaite.
“I’ve been down to the track a few times and kept up the contact with people.
“It’s great to have the support during the healing process.”