Richard Johnson, four – time UK champion jump jockey has announced his retirement at Newton Abbot on Saturday 3rd April 2021. After riding Brother Tedd into third place Richard Johnson announced “After nearly 30 years in the saddle, the time has come for me to retire.”
Richard is 43 years old and has had more than 3800 victories in his career – a number that only AP McCoy has ridden more winners in jump racing. Richard finished runner up 16 times to AP McCoy in the jump jockeys championship before going onto win the championship four times consecutively. Both Richard Johnson and AP had a strong friendship and rivalry throughout their careers.
AP McCoy tweeted after Richard’s retirement announcement “Sometimes those who challenge us the most teach us the best. You did both to me for over 20 years. I will be forever grateful to you, thanks buddy. When you go home tonight look in the mirror you’ll see what a champion looks like. Enjoy your retirement.”
Some career highlights for Richard Johnson include winning 2 Cheltenham Gold Cups firstly on Looks Like Trouble and then 18 years later in 2018 riding Native River. He has also won the Queen Mother Champion chase and Champion Hurdle.
Trainer Philip Hobbs who saddled many of Richard’s winners said “He’s been an amazing role model. You could not get anybody better for future jockeys to see what they need to do, how to conduct yourself and everything that is needed to be a good jockey”.
Trainer Henry Dale said “I can honestly say we never had a crossed word – which is astonishing because I’m a grumpy git.”
After announcing his retirement Richard said “Thank you for every cheer, every shout of encouragement, it’s given me enormous strength over the years. I am so grateful to you all”
From all of us a The Horse Exchange – thank you Richard for such an exciting, successful jumping career – enjoy a happy retirement!