Ryan Mania

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Ryan Mania
OccupationNational Hunt jockey
Born (1989-12-23) 23 December 1989 (age 31)
Galashiels, Scotland, United Kingdom
Major racing wins
2013 Grand National
Significant horses
Auroras Encore

Ryan Mania is a Scottish National Hunt jockey from Galashiels,[1] most famous for winning the 2013 Grand National on the Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore, at starting odds of 66/1.

Early life and career[edit]

Mania was born in 1989, in Galashiels, Scotland to joiner Kevin and mental health worker Lesley Mania, who first sat him on a Shetland pony aged three.[2] He began working with point-to-point horses aged 12, and rode for Peter Monteith and subsequently for Howard Johnson, before Johnson lost his trainer's licence at the end of 2011.

At this point he left jump racing to work for his local hunt, the Fife Foxhounds as whipper-in.[3] But over the winter, he started feeling he was missing out after seeing horses running which he had ridden previously and, encouraged by his agent, Bruce Jeffrey, he returned to ride for Sue Smith.[3][4]

2013 Grand National[edit]

Mania had his first ride the Grand National in 2013,[5] and was the unexpected winner, riding 66/1 outsider Auroras Encore, and winning by 9 lengths. As a 23-year-old, he was one of the youngest people to ever win the Grand National, and was also the first Scottish jockey to win the race for 117 years.[3] He had previously been beaten by a head on the horse in the 2012 Scottish Grand National.[4]

He made further headlines through a fall on a different horse for Sue Smith the following day, which saw him airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary hospital with suspected neck and back injuries.[6] It was later discovered he had fractured a vertebra at the base of his neck.[4] He returned to race riding on the first day of the Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr on 19 April 2013.[7]

Retirement[edit]

Mania announced his retirement from riding in November 2014 at the age of 25, citing problems maintaining his riding weight as the main reason and saying that he no longer got a "kick out of winning"[8] After retiring from jump racing he worked as a kennel huntsman for the Braes of Derwent Hunt[9][10] and as master huntsman for the Berwickshire hunt.[11]

During his retirement he rode in a charity race at Aintree, the scene of his Grand National triumph, in aid of the Countryside Alliance.[11] He also had a spell as assistant trainer to Sandy Thomson, a National Hunt trainer in the Scottish Borders.[12]

Comeback to racing[edit]

Mania made his comeback as a National Hunt jockey in October 2019, citing improvements in sports nutrition which allowed him to manage his weight more effectively than previously, as well as family influences and rediscovering his appreciation of the sport.[12][13] The first race of his comeback was aboard Fair Minx at Ayr with his mount finishing seventh of ten runners.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grand National win for Gala's Ryan Mania". The Southern Reporter. JPI Media. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Grand National winner Ryan Mania to remain in hospital". BBC Sport. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Ryan Mania becomes first Scots jockey to win National in 117 years". HeraldScotland. Herald & Times Group. 7 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Muscat, Julian (13 April 2013). "National hero staying calm in eye of the media storm". Racing Post. London.
  5. ^ Danny Griffiths (6 April 2013). "Grand National 2013: Debutant jockey Ryan Mania wins on 66/1 shot Auroras Encore". Metro. DMG Media.
  6. ^ "Grand National:Ryan Mania Stays in Hospital". Sky News. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013.
  7. ^ Birch, Richard (19 April 2013). "National hero Mania back in the saddle and raring to go". Racing Post. London.
  8. ^ "Ryan Mania: Grand National-winning jockey retires at 25". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  9. ^ Gavin Havery (5 March 2015). "Winning jockey joins North-East hunt". Northern Echo. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  10. ^ Michael Butler (7 April 2015). "Grand National winner Ryan Mania: how pressure to lose weight made me retire". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Ryan Mania: The jockey leading the pack and hunting new Aintree glory". Yorkshire Post. JPI Media. 20 October 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b Tom Richmond (25 October 2019). "Exclusive - Grand National winner Ryan Mania comes out of retirement with a renewed appetite to compete". Yorkshire Post. JPI Media. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  13. ^ David Baxter (26 October 2019). "Rejuvenated Ryan Mania ready for comeback after winning battle with the scales". Racing Post. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  14. ^ Tom Richmond (28 October 2019). "Ryan Mania unplaced as Grand National hero makes comeback at Ayr". Yorkshire Post. JPI Media. Retrieved 20 January 2020.