Grand National winner Ryan Mania says he is 'grand' after heavy fall

Ryan Mania, who realised the greatest ambition of every jump jockey when he won the Grand National at Aintree on Auroras Encore on Saturday, said he was fine and expects to return home on Monday after being airlifted to hospital on Sunday afternoon after suffering suspected neck and back injuries in a fall at Hexham.

Mania, 23, was riding the 9-2 favourite Stagecoach Jasper for Sue Smith, the trainer of Auroras Encore, when his horse fell at the fourth flight in the St John Lee Handicap Hurdle. He appeared to be kicked between the shoulder blades by another runner after hitting the ground.

The rider was reported to be conscious after the fall but was treated for nearly 30 minutes at the scene before an air ambulance arrived to take him to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, about 20 miles away.

The jockey 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".

A spokesman for Great North Air Ambulance had earlier said: "Mr Mania has received neck and back injuries. He came off the horse at high speed and may have been hit by another horse while he was on the ground. He has been given extensive painkillers and is currently in a stable condition."

James Armstrong, the clerk of the course at Hexham, said after Mania had been taken to hospital that the rider had been "conscious and talking all the time". Later Armstrong added: "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 was aboard one of the biggest outsiders for Saturday's Grand National and taking part in the famous race for the first time but he produced an accomplished performance on Auroras Encore, a 66-1 chance, who jumped impeccably on the way to a nine-length success.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Victoria Infirmary said on Sunday evening that it was making no comment on Mania's condition at the request of his family.

Before his fall on Sunday Mania said that he had received "thousands" of messages of congratulation on Facebook and Twitter after his win.

"My phone hasn't stopped," he said. "Text messages from friends I can reply to but I've had thousands on Facebook and Twitter from people I don't know.

"Last night my local rugby team in Galashiels had their sevens tournament and they phoned up and wanted me to pop in. I was on the pitch with the team under the floodlights and the atmosphere was incredible, it meant so much to everyone.

"I got there at 10.20pm, I tried to go to bed but couldn't sleep. I was just replaying the race in my head, and then I set off at 5.30am to get back down here [to Sue Smith's yard]. I think I slept for an hour."

Powered by article was written by Greg Wood, for The Guardian on Sunday 7th April 2013 22.28 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


image: © Paolo Camera