Fruition of sporting career

Braw Lads Gatherin. 2012 Braw Lad Ryan Mania, winner of the 2013 Grand National .
Braw Lads Gatherin. 2012 Braw Lad Ryan Mania, winner of the 2013 Grand National .

After dabbling in rugby and football as a youngster, Ryan Mania soon made up his mind that his sporting ambitions lay with horses.

Success on the point-to-point circuit further endorsed his passion and on leaving Galashiels Academy he went to work with trainer Peter Monteith, which led to rides for Howard Jones and, ultimately, a move to the stables of Sue and Harvey Smith.

A normal day for Ryan consists of him being up at first light and out on the gallops. In the afternoon he works on his fitness, before having his tea and an early night.

Ryan is virtually a recluse during the jumps season and it is this kind of discipline and determination that has brought him the success he deserves.

The summer months are slightly quieter, though not last year, as the popular jockey was given the honour of being Braw Lad and leading the town’s annual celebrations.

Ryan’s career had already taken off before Saturday’s major victory.

He has well over 100 winners to his name and last year was pipped at the post in the Scottish Grand National on none other than Auroras Encore, his winning mount on Saturday at Aintree.

It seems both horse and rider had something to prove!