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Injured Manitoba jockey Alyssa Selman determined to ride again

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Selman thrown from horse, injured spine during race at Assiniboia Downs in June

A Manitoba jockey who suffered a serious spinal cord injury during a race in June says she is determined to ride again.

Alyssa Selman was competing in a race at Assiniboia Downs on June 27 when she was thrown from her horse. The horse in front of Selman, and the horse she was riding, tapped hooves mid-stride, sending her horse tumbling forward and Selman hard into the ground.

Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn previously said it was the most serious incident at the track in 35 years.

“I could have lost a lot of brain function; it could have been my head; I may not have known anybody or my kids,” Selman said Saturday. “It could have been much worse.”

Selman said she has use of her arms, but has lost feeling from her chest down.

She has been at the Health Science Centre since the accident two weeks ago. She underwent surgery to help repair a fractured vertebra and other damage to her spinal cord.

Doctors have not been able to tell her how long she will be in hospital, but Selman said she had a visit recently that gives her hope that she will one day walk — and ride — again.

“I had a woman come in and say she hadn’t walked in five years, and she walked into the hospital to tell me this story … to me that’s amazing,” Selman said.

“Five years is a long time and at that point you would definitely consider if it was ever going to happen again. It’s only been two weeks and that is a good reason to smile.”

It has been a tough two weeks, but Selman said she is just grateful to be alive.

“I can still see my friends, I can still look around, eventually go outside.”

Selman said she is thankful for all of the support she has received from family, friends and the racing community.

Her husband, Remi Selman, said he has been trying to stay strong.

“I try not to have negative thoughts. I’m always positive in everything that I do,” said Remi Selman.

“I just try to keep the faith. It’s tiring …. It’s been rough.”

Remi Selman said he, too, is thankful for the help he has received from friends.

Alyssa said she is excited for Monday, when she will move to another area of HSC to get started with her rehabilitation treatment.

CBC News

Selman’s family has set up a Go Fund Me page to help cover her medical costs.

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