Afghan war veteran Guy Disney becomes the first amputee jockey to win on professional course
- Credit: PA
An Afghan war veteran who was based in Norfolk has made history by becoming the first amputee jockey to win at a professional racecourse in Britain.
Captain Guy Disney reflected on an 'extraordinary' success after claiming Royal Artillery Gold Cup glory at Sandown eight years after losing his lower right leg.
The 34-year-old lost his right leg below the knee after being injured when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while serving with the Light Dragoons in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in July 2009.
The Light Dragoons were based at the time in Swanton Morley, near Dereham,
Mr Disney's initial application to ride with a prosthetic limb was turned down by the British Horseracing Authority, but he was eventually granted a licence a couple of years ago and steered Ballyallia Man to third place in the 2015 renewal of this prestigious contest, which is confined to military amateur riders.
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Mr Disney's latest mount Rathlin Rose, a 13-8 favourite, won by four and a half lengths.
He said: 'I'm only in this position thanks to the lads who helped save my life, the surgeons that looked after me in hospital and the physios that treated me.
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'I bust my ACL three weeks ago and the Injured Jockeys Fund got me back on track.
'I'm only here because of the hard work of other people. It's because of them I've had this opportunity and I'm very lucky. Some don't make it back.'
He added: 'Racing is an amazing sport. I loved my time in the army and I feel it is very hard to replicate, but I adore this and it's a really special feeling.
'There was a lot to think about (when passing the line), like the lot that aren't here.
'It was quite frustrating when there was a lot of fuss for finishing third, anyone in this wants to win it and the attention then should have been on Jody (Sole) who won it, not on some one-legged bloke hobbling back in. It's nice to go a few places better now.'