Richard Johnson, multiple time jump jockey champion, has retired

Richard Johnson, multiple time jump jockey champion, has retired

Richard Johnson, multiple time jump jockey champion, has retired

Johnson, 43, announced his surprise decision after finishing third at his last race on Saturday at Newton Abbot with Brother Tedd, according to many resources, including

He said, that the outcome of this race was extremely relevant. Richard Raced not only for himself but for Philip and Sarah Hobbs, thanks to which his rapid rise in this sport began in the early 2000s. Johnson said, that he’ll never have words to assess how important their loyalty and support is to him.

Many of Johnson’s most prominent winners came from Hobbs, including the Rooster Booster at the 2003 Champion Hurdle. 

He added, that it is time for him to leave after nearly thirty years in the saddle. Richard continued, that he is incredibly lucky to have ridden so many great horses, to meet so many incredible trainers and owners through the career.

Two Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, Looks Like Trouble in 2000 and Native River in 2018, was also Johnson horses.

The jockey has consistently ranked second to 20-time champion Sir Antony McCoy for most of his career. But since the retirement of his archrival, Richard has held the title for four straight years, from 2015/2016 to 2018/2019.

The emotional retirement

In his retirement announcement, he added, that there are countless people he would like to thank for helping to achieve such a high level for a jockey. 

Johnson remembered ‘The Duke’ (Coach David Nicholson), Dina Nicholson and their marvellous team. He also decided to repay Peter Bowen, Noel Chance and Milton Bradley for believing in him at the start of the career. Later, as Richard says, they became wonderful friends for him.

Jockey also thanked his agent Dave Roberts, who helped to meet and ride as many winners. He did not forget about Kate Davis, his physio, which in recent years supported his physical condition and without whom he simply couldn’t do his favourite sports.

According to his own words, there are too many people he would like to acknowledge, so this list might go on forever.

Some intriguing facts from Johnson bio

Since childhood, Johnson got used to horses. At a farm where he lived, in Herefordshire, his background becomes clear: both his grandfathers were hunters, his mother is a trainer, while his father rode in point-to-points.

In 2015, Willow, who is his young offspring, entered the same branch of the pony club as Richard had when he was a child. It is a Radnor and West Herefordshire branch.

He has three young kids in total, the rest are called Caspar and Percy. Johnson loves to take them with him when he goes hunting. Kids ride on their ponies. He tries to do so as often as he can. He always puts fatherhood and family first, which is why Richard named the desire to be close to them more often as one of the main reasons for retirement.

At the age of 14 young jockey was honoured to spend an entire week through his summer vacations at a yard of David Nicholson. He managed to join as a full-fledged member of a team at the age of 16.

The name of Johnson’s first pony was Twinkle, and Richard remembers him as having a mind of its own and “typical Shetland”.

Throughout his career, Johnson was only described as a “statistical marvel” by historians and such. Just imagine: having 3,819 winners in UK and Ireland (and a couple more in France) his only rival is a legendary Sir Anthony Peter McCoy with an unattainable 4,348, who’s still on the top of the list of all-time great.

But the time came and, in his own words from the departure announcement: “there are lots of young lads in there that are probably glad to see the back of me.”

Discover more from Everything Horse Magazine

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Related posts