Ryan Mania's Cheltenham win is an inspiration – Scotsman comment

Life can be hard, at times almost unbearably so. And when you are at your lowest ebb, it can seem as if all hope is lost.

Ryan Mania rides Vintage Clouds to victory in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival (Picture: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

So it is worth celebrating stories that show we can triumph in the face of adversity, that we can bounce back from failure or defeat to achieve our hopes and dreams in life.

In the 2013 Grand National, Scots jockey Ryan Mania rode the 66-1 outsider Aurora’s Encore to a shock victory, only to walk away from the sport a year later at the age of 25.

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Just a day after that extraordinary win, he fell in a race at Hexham and landed in hospital after he was trodden on by another horse.

In the following months, he struggled to maintain the required weight to the extent that it made him “miserable, grumpy… very selfish. I didn’t like the person I was”, as he later told the BBC. His love of racing had gone and it seemed as if his career was over.

But, after nearly five years away from the sport, he returned and an “over the moon” Mania has now won on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, one of the biggest events in horse-racing.

Not all of us are blessed with the kind of talent that he clearly has, but most of us will experience highs and lows.

So we should try to enjoy the highs when they come and remember that the lows, however bad they may seem, will not last forever. All things pass.

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