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Profile Of Jockey Ryan Mania

There are few competitions as popular and as legendary as the Grand National, but many casual observers simply are not familiar with the many jockeys who enter competition, let alone the jockey who eventually leads the way to a victory at this storied Aintree gathering. For those who haven't heard of Ryan Mania, or casual spectators who have never heard his story, it's worth getting to know this young and promising jockey.

Name: Ryan Mania
Birth date: December 23, 1989
Significant Horses: Auroras Encore

From a Young Age, Ryan Mania Was Committed to National Hunt Racing

One of the things that unites Ryan Mania with past winners at the Grand National is his lifelong affection for this sport and his near-lifelong period of training and preparation for competition. That's largely out of necessity: Only those who dedicate years, if not decades, to learning and mastering the sport can be expected to beat odds like 66/1, as Ryan Mania did this past April.

It all began when Mania was about three years old. His parents introduced him to a Shetland pony and had him take a seat. It was, perhaps, love at first sight. By the age of 12, Mania was working with point-to-point horses. This work led him to quite a few opportunities, including riding with Peter Monteith. Until 2011, Ryan Mania also rode with Howard Johnson. It was during that year that Johnson lost is trainer's licence and Mania had second thoughts about his future in the sport.

Absence and Return: A Deepening Affection for the Sport

After Johnson lost his trainer's licence in 2011, Ryan Mania experienced quite a few second thoughts about the sport and his future in it. He decided to take a break from riding and racing, instead opting to work as a whipper-in with his local hunt. Though this work was rewarding, Mania notes that he began to miss out on competition and other forms of success, especially after seeing horses that he had previous ridden with Monteith and Johnson.

At the behest of agent Bruce Jeffrey, Mania began riding again with Sue Smith. It was this return to the sport that fuelled his desire to enter and win the Grand National, which he would do just about a year after returning to riding.

The Plot Thickens: After Grand National, A Paralysis Scare

Winning the Grand National is no doubt a career high point, but many jockeys actually continue riding after this victory as they pursue other honours and a lengthier resume of accomplishments. That's what led Ryan Mania to compete the very next day after his big win, though things didn't quite go according to plan.

Most jockeys fall from their horses roughly 10 percent of the time during riding, and the day after the Grand National was apparently Mania's time to suffer this setback. The jockey fell from his horse early on, injuring his neck and causing spectators and professionals to wonder if he might be paralysed from the resulting injuries. After hours of stabilising his condition and working on his injuries, doctors announced that no paralysis was likely to result from the fall. Mania returned to competition just a short time later, on the 19th of April.

IT is this unending determination and an enthusiasm for the sport that is just so exciting to watch. Jockeys of Mania's calibre are few and far between, and his future successes will be a thrill for audiences wherever he happens to be riding.

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