South Scotland

Ryan Mania: Galashiels welcomes Grand National winner

Ryan Mania
Image caption Crowds turned out in Galashiels to welcome home Ryan Mania

Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania has attended a parade in his home town of Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

The event was organised to mark the young jockey's achievement in winning the race aboard Auroras Encore.

His participation in the celebration was in doubt after a racing accident on Sunday.

The jockey had been in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary since he came off his horse at Hexham.

But he was discharged just hours before the Galashiels event.

An MRI on his back and neck revealed he had a tiny fracture to his C7 vertebra as well as some soft tissue and ligament damage.

It did not stop him parading through Galashiels and hundreds of people lined the streets to celebrate his success.

The Borders jockey said: "It means everything, I mean all these people are here to see me and it's a bit overwhelming really, I can't thank them enough.

"The National is the biggest race in the world and it's mad really that I won, but to see all the people here is heart-warming."

Hundreds of fans braved heavy rain to cheer Mania as he was paraded through the town led by a pipe band.

His mother Lesley greeted him before he set off on the tour, and said she was "the proudest mum on the planet".

She added: "It's a great turnout, I think there was something similar on Saturday night and it's great to see the town behind him.

"Lots of people put bets on him so maybe they want to say thanks or get him a drink.

"I was at the race and it was just unbelievable, but to see him fall the next day was a real worry but he's fine as far as we know and he's happy as Larry. Ryan just gets up and gets on with it."

Auroras Encore was a 66/1 outsider - making plenty of people in Galashiels who put on a bet very happy.

Scott Quinn said: "Plenty of folk backed him, I think only the bookies in the town didn't want him to win, so it's fantastic and I owe him a drink or three whenever he gets the chance."

Mania was presented with a framed picture of himself on board Auroras Encore as a gift from the town.

The jockey now hopes to be back in the saddle in time for next weekend's Scottish Grand National.

"I'm not used to all the attention, it's all gone crazy just because of a horse race," he said.

"On Friday no one outside the circles I'm involved with knew me but after a nine-minute race everyone knows who I am.

"Sunday was a disaster but it happens and I feel OK now, a bit tired and sore, I need to get the all clear from the Jockey Club doctor and hopefully I'll be fit for the Scottish National.

"If I could have I'd have been on a horse today, but it's nice to enjoy this reaction and I want to thank everyone who has turned out and those who support me from the bottom of my heart."

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