British flat-racing jockey. Knighted in 1953, he was champion jockey 26 times (1925–53), winning 4870 races, including 14 Classics. Born in Shropshire, Richards was a miner's son, one of twelve children. He was apprenticed to Martin Hartigan's stable when he was sixteen and rode his first winner in March 1921. In 1925 he rode 118 winners and was champion jockey for the first time. In 1933 he rode a total of 253 winners to break Fred Archer's record of 246 set in 1885. Fourteen years later he had 269 winners in the season.
Richards was knighted for his services to racing in the Coronation Honours List in June 1953. A few days later he won the only great prize that had eluded him – the Derby. A year later, after a fall when he sustained serious injuries, he retired. In 1955 he started training with thirty two-year-olds. His stable jockey from 1956 to 1969 was the Australian Scobie Breasley, with whom he shared many notable successes on the horses of Stavros Niarchos and others. Soon after his retirement from training in 1970, Richards was made an honorary member of the Jockey Club.
From Who's Who in the Twentieth Century in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).