War veteran rides to victory

The former soldier who became the first jockey with an artificial leg to ride a winner at a professional racecourse has praised the medical team who helped make it possible.

Captain Guy Disney, 35, who rode Rathlin Rose to victory in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown, said: “When I was returning to the winners’ enclosure I thought of that moment when I got injured and the lads put a tourniquet on and saved my life.

“I’d like to thank the surgeon who looked after me in hospital and the physios who treated me. I’m only here because of the hard work of other people. It’s because of them that I have had this opportunity. Some don’t make it back.”

Disney lost his leg from the knee down in Afghanistan when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle in Helmand Province in July, 2009. His troop had come under heavy and sustained small arms fire from a well-concealed enemy ambush site.

He was initially turned down to ride by the British Horseracing Authority but was eventually given a licence a couple of years ago. He now rides with a prosthetic leg.

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 riding. It is a really special feeling.”

Disney also joined Prince Harry during his trek to the South Pole in 2013 with Walking With The Wounded.