Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Grand National jockey welcomed home

National winners Ryan Mania and Auroras Encore

Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania has returned home to a hero's welcome - just hours after being discharged from hospital.

The 23-year-old triumphed in the world-famous race with Auroras Encore on Saturday but was airlifted to hospital the following day after falling from another horse at Hexham, Northumberland.

The jockey was in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary for two nights but has now been released and he travelled to his home town of Galashiels in the Scottish Borders for a homecoming parade.

Hundreds of people lined the streets to congratulate him as he toured the town centre on the back of a 4x4 truck before speaking on a stage in front of the Auld Mill pub.

Mania said the last few days had been "crazy" and that he was overwhelmed by the turnout in his home town.

He 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 heartwarming."

More than 300 fans braved heavy rain to cheer Mania as he was paraded through the town led by a pipe band.

The jockey posed for dozens of pictures with delighted locals and signed autographs for children who gathered to cheer him on to the stage.

He suffered a tiny fracture to his C7 vertebra as well as soft tissue and ligament damage due to his fall on Sunday but still managed a hug for his family. His mother Lesley greeted him before he set off on the tour and said she was "the proudest mum on the planet".

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