One Stroppy Jockey: The Christine Lawn Story
'One minute there you are cruising along just fine and the next minute everything's changed forever.'
Feisty, strong-willed and plucky: that's how friends describe jockey Christine Lawn. Drawn by her love of horses to first work as a stable-hand and later as an apprentice jockey, Christine rode nineteen winners - until 2002. That year she fell from a horse during a race at Wingatui. The accident brought her riding career to an abrupt end and left her confined to a wheelchair. She was told she'd never walk again. This is the story of Christine's courageous struggle in the Burwood spinal unit, her determination to find a new independence, and her spirited resolve to walk again. She is an inspiration to us all.
Christine's story is told here by writer Sandy McKay. Sandy cleverly weaves Christine's own words into the fabric of this remarkable biography. From the very start there's a compelling expressiveness and urgency to Christine's determined struggle. 'The thing about Burwood hospital is that you didn't have to look far to find someone worse off than yourself...Some of them thought they'd won Lotto if they managed to feed themselves.' McKay brings the full drama of Christine's life to her readers. There's the buzz of excitement at the start of a race, but this is one rough ride. And this is one stroppy jockey!
Sandy McKay is better known for her novels for young readers. She won the NZ Post Junior Fiction Award for Recycled in 2002 and is highly regarded for her gentle, insightful writing style. She's held the Writer in Residence at the Dunedin College of Education and has received many accolades for her books. In One Stroppy Jockey, her skill ss a biographer is clearly evident. Here she displays a graceful empathy for her subject and a quiet control of her material.