FIGHTER: Kris Jarvis pictured at the stables back in 2010.
FIGHTER: Kris Jarvis pictured at the stables back in 2010. Bruce Thomas/Coffs Coast Advocat

The incredible story behind the Pink Silks race

WHEN Kris Jarvis was charged to the ground by a rampaging colt seven years ago, it revealed a health condition which turned her world upside down.

Initially believing she had suffered some sort of rib injury, subsequent scans showed she also had lung cancer.

The doctors and specialists said she had three years to live if nothing was done, so her husband Jim made the call to get her lung removed altogether.

Flash forward to 2020 and Kris is healthy, happy and the brainchild of one of the most unique races in Australia.

The J&K Jarvis Racing Pink Silks will unfold over 1305m on Sunday at the Coffs Harbour Racing Club, with the event restricted to female horses and jockeys only.

The race is the first and only of its kind in the country.

"It's her day," Jim said.

"It's her repayment to women's health after going through what she went through and coming out the other side."

Now in it's fifth year, Jim said the race initially had it's knockers but hasn't looked back since.

"The first year was hard to get the female jockeys, now they're all knocking on the door to get here.

"They're falling out of trees for a ride. We could probably have two races."

Not only do Kris and Jim sponsor the race, they also give jewellery to all the jockeys for participating.

This year there's also an added prize up for grabs for three of the trainers.

"Kris has a really nice set of earrings if a female trainer wins the race," Jim said.

"Donna Grisedale has seen them and wants them, she's a good chance to get them as well with the top-weight in the race."

The special event is a feature of the annual Pink Silks Race Day, with co-founder Tanya Johnson in amazement of how the event has gone from strength to strength.

"At our first race day 14 years ago we were hoping for $10,000 and raised $27,000," Mrs Johnson said.

"To now be so close to $1 million is incredible, it gives me goosebumps every time I say it.

"It's been a lot of hard work by the committee and the community, without the support we've received we wouldn't be in this position."

Jim has debutant Aim At Target going around on Sunday for owner and legendary trainer Joe Janiak who is currently sick in hospital.

Jim has sent Janiak his best wishes as he won't be able to make it to the track.

The first race of the program is at 1.30pm Sunday, with gates opening at 11.30am. Entry is just $10.