Cameron Partington, from the Queensland arm of the Australian Trainers’ Association, has been heartened by the support fellow trainers have shown to the Duryea family.
“Since July when the accident happened, we straight away got in touch with Darleen and her family and just said that we were going to help and get behind her,” Partington said.
“Our industry always looks after their own so we got behind Darleen, she is going through a tough battle with her young son Liam, who is only nine.
“She wants to get back training and our aim and goal, with everyone that has supported her, is to get her back training.
“That might take five years but if we take the financial burden off her and give her an opportunity to get back to doing it, that’s great.”
While there is a long tough road ahead, Darleen is determined to return to the racing industry in one way or another.
“She is full on with her rehabilitation and always says she misses the horses,” Doug said.
“I am pretty sure she will get back into it, in some form.”
The Duryea family were given a special presentation at the ATA’s Wayne Wilson Medal ceremony earlier this year as Darleen was given a standing ovation as she entered the room.
With her partner in crime Liam by her side, the entire family was blown away with the way trainers from around the state had gone out of their way to donate money or lend a hand in whichever way possible.
“Darleen has a great history and has a huge amount of experience, working with a number of different trainers as a foreman,” Partington said.
“She only has a small team of horses but she was really starting to build her team up again.
“She was getting herself in a good position as a trainer before she had the unfortunate track work accident.”
Darleen’s mother thanked the entire ATA, Partington and the wider industry for their generosity, while also noting Darleen was further inspired to complete her rehabilitation following the support from other trainers.
“She was a little bit overwhelmed,” Carol said.
“When she was told they were raising funds for her, she was gob smacked that people wanted to help like that.
“People have been really good in racing and people around Beaudesert have been excellent as well.
“It has been quite overwhelming about how people have railed around her to help her.”
There had also been fund-raising efforts from the general community away from racing in the Beaudesert area as well, Carol said.
The family are holding out hope Darleen can make a miraculous recovery.
“She is really positive she can make herself walk again,” Carol said.
“She does not have any feelings in her legs at all and she is in a wheelchair but she has progressed so much since she has been in there.
“She is now up to doing transfers from the bed to the wheelchair, to the shower chair – we can now take her over for a walk into the shopping centre for a look around – she is progressing.
“In what extent – we do not know – but she is determined to get back into racing in some way or another.
“It has not set her back and everyone that knows her knows that she is a very determined person, hopefully we can be there to support her in any way we can.”
With a small team of gallopers in work before the fall, Doug has taken on some of Darleen’s former horses to keep ticking along in her absence from the stables.
He has prepared Pivotal Motion to two wins in his name after the gelding was previously in Darleen’s barn before the accident.
Darleen has been home from hospital for the last six weeks leading into Christmas and says she is enjoying spending time with her family and horses once again.
With modifications on her house to allow for her wheelchair, she is always working towards getting a new drivers licence, as well.