Roma Cup is the dream for jockey James Geppert
ROMA born and bred jockey James Geppert was never supposed to ride again.
Against all odds, he is back in the saddle and looking for a Roma Cup victory this weekend.
In July 2011, he suffered a broken neck in a serious fall in Goulburn, six weeks after completing his apprenticeship.
Geppert said doctors told him he would never ride again, and that his injuries would end his career.
"I was told I would never ride another horse again; it took me 13 months to get back riding," he said.
"It was a lot of hard work and dedication and it's a great industry to be involved in."
Geppert had always wanted to be a jockey, starting his career as an 18-year-old in South News South Wales, working on a horse stud.
"I had a stint with Bart Cummings as a stable hand and track rider, and that was great experience; I was learning from some of the best riders and trainers in the industry," he said.
"I started my apprenticeship with Keith Dryden in Canberra, and then after I left the industry in 2004 I came back in 2008 and completed my apprenticeship in 2011."
Geppert said he was happy with his form in lead up to the Roma Cup, having ridden 14 winners in 2015 as part of a highly-decorated career.
"I came third in the Roma Cup last year on Peace Talks, and I had a good Birdsville Carnival coming second in the Birdsville Cup and six wins on the Birdsville circuit," he said.
"It's great to have a ride in the Roma Cup, but I'm looking to go two better this year.
"My aim has always been to win the Roma Cup."