Not only did Former Braw Lad Ryan Mania win the Grand National on his very first ride in the prestigious race, but the 23-year-old maintained his winning ways both on and off the horses throughout 2013.
Ryan became the toast of Galashiels and the Borders on April 6 last year when steering 66/1 outsider Auroras Encore to victory at Aintree.
That very same evening the local lad returned home to receive a hero’s welcome at Netherdale where supporters attending the Gala 7s had stayed on to cheer him back into the town.
Mania was one of the youngest people to ever win the world-famous race at Aintree, and was also the first Scottish jockey to win the race for 117 years.
Never has the unpredictability of jump racing been more starkly illustrated, however, than by the fate of Ryan the following day.
Less than 24 hours after his National win, the jockey was airlifted to hospital with neck and back injuries following a fall in a hurdle race at Hexham.
A planned street parade had to be put on hold, but not for long.
By the Wednesday, Ryan had recovered enough to come out of hospital and delighted all his local fans by travelling the length and breadth of Gala in an open-topped vehicle to accept their applause and good wishes.