Richard Dunwoody

Richard Dunwoody - Former Jockey - Motivational Speaker

Have you ever wondered what it is actually like to line up for the greatest horse race in the world - the Grand National?

The most successful jockey in English National Hunt Racing, Ulsterman Richard Dunwoody -- who broke all the records in his chosen career -- was forced out of the saddle due to injury. Having endured the hazardous world of jump racing, Richard is revered amongst fellow professionals, and rightly so.


During his distinguished career he rode 1,699 winners in Britain and became champion jockey three times, a feat which earned him the MBE in 1993. Game Trust provided his first winner in 1983 at Cheltenham, Yorkshire Edition at Wincanton in 1999 was his record-breaking 1,679th.

Racing over 10,000 times, his career high points include winning the Grand National on West Tip in 1986 and Minnehoma in 1994 as well as the Gold Cup on Charter Party in 1988. His best season saw him 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 then completed jump racings Big Treble by landing the Champion Hurdle on Kribensis in 1990, only the fourth jockey since the war to have done so.

A supreme stylist, his peers dubbed him Dunwoody 'The Prince'. Dunwoody's successes continued throughout the nineties, including a string of big race wins aboard another popular bold jumping grey, One Man, and 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 properly and the three-times champion decided to call it a day before he was forced to. Former champion jockey and Channel 4 racing pundit John Francome paid Dunwoody the ultimate compliment when he said: 'He made bad horses look good and every day he was at his best'.

Richard 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 has appeared on many terrestrial, local and satellite television programmes (including 'This is Your Life', Call My Bluff, Ready Steady Cook, Blankety Blank and Question of Sport).

Over the years he has contributed columns to the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Telegraph and has collaborated on four books on racing 'Hell for Leather' (1993), "Duel" (1994) 'Hands and Heels' (1997) and his autobiography 'Obsessed' (2000).

In 2001 Richard travelled for 5 months on a solo trek to Australia, New Zealand and South America to fulfil a life long dream. In 2002 he went on a two week expedition to the Arctic and contested the Polar Race, where his team finished 2nd in a 400 mile trek to the magnetic north pole.

Success as a champion jockey, coupled with knowledge gained from challenges including the race to the Magnetic North Pole and climbing the highest mountain in the Andes have given him a unique insight in peak performance.

His motivational themes include:

Learning From Mistakes

Overcoming the Fear of Failure

Controlling the Controllable

Breaking the Performance Barrier

The Making of a Champion

Building a High Performance Team

Richard is an extremely competent motivational and after dinner speaker sharing his experiences as a top sportsman in a highly competitive environment with business audiences. He describes his style as anecdotal, sports related and business orientated.

His interests include rugby, football, motor sports and he spent two seasons driving Formula First racing cars.