A jockey-turned-trainer who was left partially blinded in a career-ending fall has celebrated her first win.

Suzzanne France suffered permanent nerve damage to both her eyes due to a fall at Redcar in May 2007.

Refusing to let her injuries spell the end of her racing career, she has now returned as a trainer and had her first win – with Stamp Duty at Wolverhampton on 11 February.

The win was the culmination of nearly five years of hard work and rehabilitation.

“It’s grand, after everything that has happened, this is something that can never be taken away from me,” she told H&H. “Although part of me still wishes that it was me on the horse.”

After the accident Ms France spent six days in intensive care in Middlesbrough before being moved to Malton hospital for a further four weeks.

She was back on a horse within six months, and now rides out the three horses she has in training.

The win was even more special as four-year-old Stamp Duty is owned by a family syndicate and was ridden by her boyfriend Aaron James.

(Photo by Lesley Hurley)