How many jockeys have been killed in the Grand National?

The first ‘official’ Grand National was run at Aintree Racecourse in 1839 and, in 172 runnings since, the celebrated steeplechase has claimed the life of one jockey. The tragedy occurred on March 12, 1862, long before safety equipment, such as helmets and body protection, became compulsory and in the absence of adequate medical care.

The ill-fated horseman was Joseph Wynne, the son of former Grand National-winning jockey Denis ‘Denny’ Wynne, who suffered fatal injuries when parting company with his mount, O’Connell, at The Chair. The Chair, at a height of 5’3” and preceded by a 6’ open ditch, was, and still is, a formidable obstacle. However, the villain of the piece was one of his rivals, Playmate, who overjumped and fell, causing a ‘concertina’ effect, as a result of which O’Connell and another rival, Willoughby, both came to grief. To make matters worse, Playmate stumbled and fell, riderless, on top of Wynne, who was lying unconscious on the ground.

Wynne was still alive, albeit with a crushed sternum, or breastbone, when carried to the Sefton Arms Inn – now the Red Rum Bar & Grill – near the entrance to Aintree Racecourse, but died at eight o’clock that evening without ever regaining consciousness. He undoubtedly died of his injuries but, at the subsequent inquest in his cause of death, pulmonary tuberculosis, a.k.a. ‘consumption’, was identified as a contributory factor.

How long did Silvestre De Sousa ride for Godolphin?

Having narrowly missed out on the Flat Jockeys’ Championship, 165-161, to Paul Hanagan in 2011,

Brazilian-born Silvestre De Sousa was announced as a retained jockey for Godolphin in February, 2012. De Sousa had apparently impressed Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, founder of Godolphin, and his racing manager, Simon Crisford, while riding for North Yorkshire trainer Mark Johnston the previous season.

De Sousa relocated to Newmarket to ride alongside stable jockey Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori and, when Dettori announced his decision to ride on a freelance basis in 2013, became prinicipal jockey to Saeed Bin Suroor at Godolphin Stables. However, by May, 2014, the writing was on the wall for De Sousa as Bin Suroor switched his affiliation to veteran jockey Kieran Fallon, 49, of whom he said, ‘ I’m happy to give him a chance in all the big races’. Bin Suroor proved true to his word and the following November, when William Buick and James Doyle were appointed Goldolphin jockeys, De Sousa lost his retainer altogether.

Nevertheless, De Sousa bounced back from his sacking by Goldolphin in no uncertain terms. He won the Flat Jockeys’ Championship for the first time in 2015, with 132 winners, finished runner-up to Jim Crowley in 2016, with 148 winners, and won the jockeys’ title again in both 2017 and 2018, with 155 and 148 winners, respectively.

How many times did Steve Cauthen become champion jockey in Britain?

Steve ‘The Kentucky Kid’ Cauthen made a successful British debut aboard Marquee Universal, trained by Barry Hills, on a typically rainy day at Salisbury on April 7, 1979. Four weeks later, Cauthen rode his first British Classic winner, Tap On Wood, a 20/1 outsider, also trained by Barry Hills, in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. In so doing, he inflicted one of just two defeats that the hitherto unbeaten Kris, trained by Henry Cecil, would experience during his sixteen-race career.

Cauthen became champion jockey for the first time, albeit with the modest total of 130 winners, in 1984, but it was during his subsequent spell as stable jockey to the aforementioned Henry Cecil, between 1985 and his retirement in 1992, that he reached the pinnacle of his career in Britain. Cauthen was champion jockey again in 1985 and during his first season at Warren Place won the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St. Leger – a.k.a. the fillies’ ‘Triple Crown – on Oh So Sharp, as well as the Derby on Slip Anchor, both trained by Henry Cecil.

Having played second fiddle to Pat Eddery in the jockeys’ championship in 1986, Cauthen won the Derby, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and St. Leger on Reference Point, also trained by Cecil, in 1987, en route to his highest seasonal tally ever, with 197 winners. Nevertheless, Cauthen was involved in an epic duel with Pat Eddery for the jockeys’ title, which was also resolved 197-195 in his favour on the final day of the season.

In which season did Tony McCoy ride most winners?

Undoubtedly the greatest National Hunt jockey in history, Sir Anthony McCoy, a.k.a. Tony McCoy, requires little introduction. Born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland in 1974, McCoy was Champion Conditional Jockey in 1995/96 and, thereafter, Champion Jockey every year for two decades until his retirement in April, 2015. All told, McCoy rode a record 4,348 winners over obstacles, an achievement made all the more remarkable by the fact that he stands 5’10” tall and, throughout his career, required a punishing regime to maintain his weight at around 10st 3lb. In 2016, McCoy was knighted for services to horse racing, making him just the second jockey in history, after Sir Gordon Richards in 1953, to be awarded a knighthood.

Indeed, in 2001/02, en route to his seventh Jump Jockeys’ Championship, McCoy rode 289 winners, thereby breaking the British record for the most winners in a single season, 269, set by Sir Gordon Richards in 1947. In August 2002, McCoy also succeeded Richard Dunwoody as the most prolific jockey in British National Hunt history, when Mighty Montefalco, trained by Jonjo O’Neill, landed odds of 8/13 at Uttoxeter to bring up winner number 1,700. After winning the Jump Jockeys’ Championship again in 2002/03, with 258 winners McCoy set his sights on riding 300 winners in 2003/04; he suffered a major setback when breaking his arm in a fall at Worcester in June, with just 36 winners on the board, but still managed 209 winners in the season as a whole.

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