Last Saturday I thought I’d be watching the Grand National on television but unfortunately where I live I don’t have access to the commercial channels that nowadays show most of the major sporting events .
Although I was disappointed I was obviously very happy to hear that there appeared to be no fatalities or serious injuries to any of the horses or jockeys concerned.
Apparantly there were two falls and a few unseated riders but the jockeys who felt their horses were tiring or not comfortable during the 41/2 mile race, appropriately pulled up and left the race course.
Again there were surprises at the Grand National with a complete outsider called Auroras Encore passing the winning post first with his jockey Ryan Mania. A lady called Sue Smith trained Auroras Encore and is only the third female in the history of the race, to train the winner.
Sue’s husband is former International Show Jumping rider Harvey Smith, who turned to racing after retiring from a very successful jumping career.
Winning the Grand National in front of more than 6 million viewers from all over the world is an amazing achievement, but like so many of us and for the jockeys, work goes on as usual.
Also for Ryan Mania who was entered in some races at Hexham, a racecourse in Northumberland on Sunday, the day after his win at Aintree.
Jockeys are fully aware of the risks they take in their sport, but I’m sure it was nearly unthinkable that this young lad who had been celebrating an amazing achievement less than 24 hours before, should find himself being airlifted to hospital with what seemed to be very serious injuries.
Ryan was riding another of Sue Smith’s horses in a hurdle race and was unseated and it’s thought that he was kicked in the back by a passing horse.
Fortunately, after spending 2 days in hospital it was confirmed that the injuries incurred were not as bad as first thought and Ryan was discharged from hospital.
I’m sure that Ryan can’t wait to be reunited with Auroras Encore, because together with this fabulous horse he’s made “a dream come true” not only for themselves but for the team that have been involved in this Grand National triumph.