Galashiels’ Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania may be stepping down from his racing saddle but he won’t be disappearing from the limelight all together if he has his way.
The 25-year-old announced his retirement yesterday having battled constantly with the pressures of being a national hunt jockey since the age of 16.
He cited weight problems and an increasing lack of enthusiasm for the job as his reasons for standing down.
Speaking frankly, as always, Mania said: “I would really like to spend more time with my young son.
“Most of my life as a jockey seems to be spent travelling around from course to course and constantly trying to keep my weight down.
“I can’t live any kind of life, it really restricts what you can do and sometimes I just didn’t want to get out of bed in the mornings.
“People don’t always see the sacrifices that jockeys have to make.
Mania’s biggest win since Auroras Encore came on the Sandy Thomson-trained Seeyouatmidnight back at Aintree in April and he has made several appearances in the winners enclosure at his local track in Kelso also this season.
“I’m not being fair to myself if I carry on being miserable,” he added.
“I rode four winners the other week and I just didn’t get that kick out of winning.”
Mania will now take some time to “get his head around things,” and explore his options but admits that he would like to move away from the track and take up rugby again and perhaps do some media work.