Known as one of the more impressive jockeys of his era, Richard Johnson is an impressive name within the British National Hunt scene. With a racing family around him – his father an amateur jockey himself, and his mother a trainer of horses – Johnson was always destined for a career in the sport. At the age of 18, he was crowned the Champion Conditional Jockey, aged just 18. His first win then came at Rusty Bridge in his local Hereford, in 1994.
From there, he’s gone on to establish himself as a popular part of the racing circuit for various reasons.
For one, he’s known for having an excellent temperament and performance level for the Cheltenham Festival. With wins at the 1999 Stayers’ Hurdle, the 2000 Gold Cup, the 2002 Queen Mother Chase and the Smurfit Kappa Group Champion Hurdle, he’s picked up a fine collection of medals over an impressive career.
More impressively, though, he became just the eighth National Hunt jockey to win an impressive 1,000 rides. By 2016, he had achieved an incredible 3000 wins. He also won the Champion Jockey title after more than 16 runner-up occasions, lifting it for the first time in his professional career in 2016.
Sadly, though, Johnson holds the record for the most Grand National rides without ever finding a winner! Despite that, he’s a well-recognized name on the circuit who is respected by many. In another era, he might have a much busier trophy cabinet.
Achievements & Highlights
Major Wins – Stayers Hurdle (1999), Cheltenham Gold Cup (2000), Queen Mother Championship Chase (2002), Smurfit Kappa Group Champion Hurdle (2003), Champion Jockey (2016).
Associations – Sue Johnson, David Nicholson.