In his first race back after his National victory last Sunday, Auroras Encore’s jockey Ryan Mania suffered a horrible fall at Hexham which shocked onlookers. Mania was taken by air ambulance to the Royal Victoria hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne with suspected neck and back injuries.
But thankfully, the 23 year-old has recovered well – well enough, in fact, to attend a victory celebration parade in his home town of Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.
His participation in the town’s celebration had been in doubt after the fall on Sunday, but the young jockey was discharged just a few hours before the Galashiels parade. An MRI on Mania’s spine and neck showed that he had a tiny fracture to his C7 vertebra (where the neck meets the shoulders) as well as soft tissue and ligament damage.
But the injuries couldn’t stop the young Scot celebrating his success in
his home town where hundreds of people lined the streets to welcome home the young hero.
Auroras Encore was Mania’s first ever ride in the National. He is one of the youngest jockeys of all time to win a National (the record belongs to Bruce Hobbs who won on Battleship in 1938 three months after his 17th birthday).
Mania also became the first Scottish jockey to win a National for 117 years, since his predecessor-countryman David Campbell won on The Soarer back in 1896.
Meanwhile, the winning horse itself was enjoying a visit to his local pub in Bingley, West Yorkshire, where he was greeted by hundreds of local people. The 66-1 long-shot visited the Dick Hudsons pub near Sue Smith’s stables in the town.
The 11-year-old became the first Yorkshire-based winner of the world's greatest steeplechase since Neville Crump’s Merryman II back in 1960.