Where, and when, did Richard Johnson ride his first and last winners?
At the time of his shock retirement in April, 2021, Richard ‘Dicky’ Johnson had ridden 3,819 winners, a figure surpassed only by his great friend and rival Sir Anthony McCoy. Johnson rode his first winner, Rusty Bridge, trained by his mother, Susan, in a hunters’ chase at Hereford on April 30, 1994. He won the Conditional Jockeys’ Championship in 1995/96 and, over the next two decades, finished runner-up in the National Hunt Jockeys’ Championship, behind McCoy, on no fewer than 16 occasions. McCoy retired in April, 2015 and Johnson finally emerged from his shadow to win the jockeys’ title four years running, in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Interestingly, on the day of his retirement, at Newton Abbot, Johnson gave up his last scheduled ride on the card, such that his last actual ride was Brother Tedd, on whom he’d won McCoy’s final race at Sandown Park six years previously. His last winner, though, was Camprond, fittingly trained by Philip Hobbs – to whom he had been first jockey since 1999 – in a maiden hurdle at Taunton on March 23, 2021. In his 27-year career, Johnson took over 20,000 rides.