Richard Dunwoody MBE is one of the most successful jump jockeys in history.
When he hung up his boots in 1999 at the age of 35 due to injury, he had won a record 1,874 races.
“He made bad horses look good, and every day he was at his best.”
Racing over 10,000 times, his career highlights include winning the Grand National on ‘West Tip’ in 1986, ‘ Minnehoma’ in 1994, and the 1988 Cheltenham Gold Cup on ‘Charter Party’.
His best season saw Richard ride 197 winners in 1993/94. Yet, to the racing public, he is best known for his partnership with the hugely popular Desert Orchid.
The pair won seven races, including the King George V1 Chase in 1989 and 1990. He completed jump racing’s Big Treble by landing the Champion Hurdle on Kribensis in 1990.
Dunwoody’s successes continued throughout the nineties, including a string of big race wins aboard another popular bold jumping grey, One Man. Early in 1999, he overtook Peter Scudamore’s record of all-time winners.
The Ulsterman’s eventual retirement in December 1999 was not planned. An injury to his right arm failed to heal correctly, and the three-time champion called it a day.
Richard Dunwoody was also voted National Hunt Jockey of the Year by his fellow jockeys in 1990/92/93/94/95, and he was voted Champion of Champions in 2001.
He received an MBE in 1993, and in 2008 the University of Ulster awarded him an honorary degree in recognition of his contribution to the equine sport.
Richard Dunwoody – Life out of the saddle:
Since retiring from horse racing, Dunwoody has undertaken several challenges.
In 2003 Richard completed the Polar Race, a 350-mile ski race to the Magnetic North Pole.
In 2008 Richard completed a gruelling 680-mile, 48-day trek to the South Pole un-resupplied and on a new route, one that Shackleton intended to take in 1915.
The following year, Richard undertook the ‘1000 Mile in 1000 hours Barclay Challenge‘, where he walked one Mile every hour for 42 days with minimal sleep.
2009 also saw Richard appear on ‘Strictly Come Dancing‘, an experience he describes in his second autobiography, ‘Method in My Madness’ as far more daunting than riding around the Aintree Grand National fences!
In 2017, Richard completed a 2000-mile solo hike through Japan, travelling from the most southerly tip of its three largest islands to Cape Soya, its most northerly point.
He has worked as a racing pundit for the BBC and as a sports columnist.
As a keynote speaker, Richard discusses his driving ambition, which led him to become a household favourite in racing circles at only 21 and the focus and determination which kept him at the forefront of National Hunt racing for 15 years and helped him complete his ‘greatest ever achievement’ reaching the South Pole.
Richard also considers how he focused his mind on overcoming the extreme sleep deprivation of walking 1000 miles in 1000 hours and facing the intense fear that he suffered when taking to the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ floor with Lilya Kopylova in front of 10 million viewers!
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from the guests and ourselves. The talk was informative, inspiring and enjoyable and your honesty and willingness to answer questions were very well received.
Patrick Alexander, Marketing Planning and Activation Manager, SIS Ltd
Success as a Champion Jockey and knowledge gained from his challenges gave Richard a unique insight into peak performance.
Motivational themes and topics include:
- Breaking the Performance Barrier.
- The Making of a Champion.
- Building a High-Performance Team.
- Attitude, Commitment and Focus are needed to get to the top.
- Learning from Mistakes.
- Overcoming the Fear of Failure.
- Controlling the Controllable.
- An insight into the Greatest Horse Race in the World – The Aintree Grand National.