Sheer willpower and guts have allowed a double amputee from Dubbo to achieve his dream, and as he did, inspire a nation.
Jamie Manning suffered horrific burns in a car accident in 2014, and resulting infections saw him lose a leg and a hand.
There were predictions the rodeo star and horse breeder would never ride again but ‘can’t’ was not a word in Jamie’s vocabulary.
He not only returned to the saddle but achieved his goal of riding 500km.
This week Jamie’s story, aired on Channel Nine’s This Time Next Year, awed the Dubbo community and viewers across Australia.
The studio audience gave him a standing ovation as he rode in and host Karl Stefanovic was moved to tears.
Wife Karen and their three children, Jedd, 15, Bray, 13 and Lori, 8, were there to see his triumph, just as they had been all through his long treatment and rehabilitation.
Jamie told the Daily Liberal the only way they could save his life after the accident in March 2014 was to amputate.
“I wouldn’t be here now, the only way they could control the infections, was to take the leg and the hand off,” he said.
He was in a coma for almost seven weeks and then spent further time in rehabilitation.
During that time his determination came to the fore.
“I was home by the first of August, my goal was to be home by September, my son’s birthday, but I smashed that and I got home on the first of August,” he said.
“The doctors told me, don’t expect you’ll be home before Christmas.
“And I just sort of looked at them and I said, ‘Mate, sorry, but I’m pretty much going to make you eat your words because I’ve got my heart set so hard on being home by September’.”
The rodeo star first swung into the saddle at age 13 and loved it instantly.
He recalled how one nurse had told him he would not ride again, but he wasn’t having a bar of it.
Last year, he saw the show advertised, made a few phone calls, and from there his pledge to ride 500km was made.
All through the painful kilometres he kept going, further motivated to raise money for charity Limbs 4 Life.
Jamie hopes people can see the value of their beliefs.
“A lot of people, they’ve always wanted to do something in life, and they just haven’t been game enough, or they’re stuck in their comfort zone,” he said.
“Life’s so short, you’ve just got to get out and experience life as you want and achieve those things.
“And you’ll feel so much better when you achieve them so I hope people can take some inspiration from what I’ve done, and I’ve moved on with my life the way I want to, and us as a family want to.”