Richard rode 470 winners in the last 8 years of a 15 year career as a steeplechase jockey having been totally obscure for the first 7 seasons. He broke most bones in his body and has continued to do so from falls since retiring in 1976 (including losing an eye).
Richard was involved in the most dramatic finish to the Grand National since the 1956 race when Devon Loch sprawled on the run-in a hundred yards from the winning post. In 1973, Richard, riding the giant black Australian ‘chaser Crisp, carrying the huge burden of 12 stones, led from the Canal Turn fence on the first circuit, going 25 lengths clear at one point, before being caught in the shadow of the post by the most famous Grand National horse in history, Red Rum, to whom Crisp was conceding 23lbs.
We will be dedicating a special page to the ’73 National and Richard will give his first hand account of the race and how he felt as he heard Red Rum coming (see the blog post for the video)
Richard retired to join the BBC racing team as a pundit. During the past 30 odd years he has also presented horseracing on Sky TV on a weekly basis, written for national newspapers, bred thoroughbreds and run a successful pre-training stable for top licensed trainers. In fact he has done everything with racehorses except eat one and, who knows, might have done so unwittingly when abroad.
A popular after dinner speaker, Richard can be seen and heard regularly on P & O cruise ships. After becoming an altruistic kidney donor in Feb. 2012 he recovered in time to ride at Aintree on Grand National day in mid April in a charity race won by 13 times Irish champion jockey Mick Kinane. Besides writing with his former workmate Joe McNally, Richard has written six non-fiction books including the racing biography of the Queen Mother.