Four-time champion jockey Richard Johnson announces retirement


our-time champion jockey Richard Johnson has announced his retirement from racing with immediate effect. 

The 43-year-old, who won some of the sport’s biggest races bowed out after finishing third in the 5.25pm on Brother Tedd at Newton Abbot on Saturday. 

Johnson is the second-most successful jump jockey of all-time in terms of number of winners, behind only long-term rival AP McCoy, who he finished runner-up to in the Champion Jockey standings on no fewer than 16 occasions.

Following McCoy’s retirement, Johnson finally claimed his first Champion Jockey title in 2016, part of a run of four in a row before he finished second to Brian Hughes in last year’s curtailed season.

“After nearly 30 years in the saddle, the time has come for me to retire,” Johnson said in a statement.

“I have been so extraordinarily lucky to have ridden so many wonderful horses, and for so many incredible trainers and owners.”

Johnson has ridden 23 Cheltenham Festival winners, including in all four main championship races: the Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Stayers’ Hurdle. 

His most recent Festival winner came on Native River in the 2018 Gold Cup, the same horse he partnered to finish fourth in this year’s race last month.

Johnson also holds the record for the most rides in the Grand National with 21, though he has never won the Aintree race, finishing second in the 2002 and 2014 renewals. 

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