Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

National win jockey in hospital

Auroras Encore with trainer Harvey Smith outside their local pub the Dick Hudsons

Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania's joy has turned to pain as he ended up in hospital less than 24 hours after his victory at Aintree.

Mania, 23, was airlifted from Hexham racecourse after he was injured when his horse Stagecoach Jasper fell in the St John Lee Handicap Hurdle on Sunday afternoon.

He later tweeted from hospital: "Thanks so much for all the messages. I'm grand. Staying in hospital to get another scan tomorrow then should be home. #highsandlows."

Only hours before the fall he had been posing for photographs with the 66-1 National winner Auroras Encore at his yard in West Yorkshire. Scotsman Mania left trainer Sue Smith's stables before the horse's traditional trip to the local pub so he could ride two of Mrs Smith's other horses at Hexham.

Stagecoach Jasper came down early on the final circuit of the 3.10 race and, according to reports, Mania was struck between the shoulder blades by another horse. Stagecoach Jasper was not hurt.

There were worrying scenes at the track when Mania was treated on the ground for some 25 minutes despite the arrival of the air ambulance from its base in Penrith, Cumbria. The Great North Air Ambulance Service said the jockey had neck and back injuries which were assessed by the on-board doctor as "severe/serious". But they said he was in a stable condition when he arrived at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, following an eight minute flight.

Mania's agent Bruce Jeffrey had earlier tweeted: "News regarding national hunt jockey Ryan Mania, he will (be) detained overnight for precautionary MRI scan tomorrow morning. Will update tomorrow. Ryan and his family appreciate all the kind wishes and would like to thank you all very much."

Clerk of the course James Armstrong said Mania was conscious and talking as he was taken to hospital. Mr Armstrong said later: "His agent and his partner are with him. I know that he's had some scans and they are waiting for the results but there's no news more than that at the moment."

Mania is a former point-to-point rider from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. His fall came less than 24 hours after he became the first Scottish-born rider to win the world-famous steeplechase since 1896, when David Campbell won on The Soarer.

Before Mania's fall, there had been a celebratory mood when Auroras Encore returned home in triumph. The outsider visited the Dick Hudsons pub, near his West Yorkshire stables, where he was greeted by customers, staff and other well-wishers. The 11-year-old is the first Yorkshire winner of the world's most famous steeplechase for 53 years.

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