How Rule The World defied all the odds
Getting Rule The World to the Aintree Grand National starting line was a triumph in itself for the horse's trainer and veterinary team
Nursing a thoroughbred back from serious injury to win a Grand National was a remarkable achievement for the horse's trainer Mouse Morris.
The success of Rule The World at Aintree proved once again that not every horse that suffers a pelvic injury will face retirement from the track, or worse still, premature death.
Immense patience is what proved to be the winning formula in bringing the nine-year-old back from the brink to win the world's toughest steeplechase under rookie David Mullins against all odds.
Purchased for €90,000 as a three-year-old of behalf of owners Gigginstown House Stud at the 2010 Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale, the UK-bred Rule The World showed much promise when winning on his point-to-point debut in November 2011.
That trend continued on the track with three wins under Davy Russell before disaster struck during the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle at Punchestown in April 2013.
"He was pulled up in that race and afterwards our vet Gerry Kelly examined him. He was then sent to Troytown where he was diagnosed in a scan with a fractured pelvis on his left side," Mouse Morris explained.
Mr Kelly outlined the prognosis: "The injury was in one of the better locations in terms of recovery and so to give him every chance the horse faced several weeks on box rest before being lightly walked and then brought back into light work."
A veterinary surgeon at the Fethard Equine Hospital in Co Tipperary, Mr Kelly has seen his fair share of horse injuries over the years and says that, while pelvic fractures in National Hunt horses are extremely common, many who are given due care go on to make full a recovery.