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Richard Dunwoody

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Richard Dunwoody


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Thomas Richard Dunwoody MBE (born 18 January 1964 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a retired British jockey in National Hunt racing. He was a three-time Champion Jockey, riding 1699 British winners in his career. His father was a leading Point to Point rider.


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Racing career

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His big race victories include the King George VI Chase four times - twice on the legendary grey Desert Orchid in 1989 and 1990 and twice on another grey One Man in 1995 and 1996. He also won the 1986 and 1994 Grand Nationals on West Tip and Miinnehoma respectively, and the 1988 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Charter Party. He received the Lester Award for Jump Jockey of the Year on five occasions.

Charity work

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He is Patron or Trustee for the charities; Sparks, Spinal Research and Racing Welfare.

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On 18 January 2008, it was reported that he and American explorer Doug Stoup had reached the South Pole following a 48-day trek raising money for charity. Their route followed one which had previously been attempted by Ernest Shackleton and was both the first successful completion of that route on foot as well the first successfully completed new route to the South Pole in ten years.

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In January 2014, Richard hosted his debut photographic exhibition at St Martin-in-the-Fields featuring images taken in Pakistan, India, Guatemala and Egypt for the charity Brooke Hospital for Animals.

Thousand-miles in a Thousand-hours

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On 29 May 2009, Richard started a 1000 Mile Challenge for charity and walk the same mile 1000 consecutive times in Newmarket for 1000 consecutive hours with the last mile up the home straight of Newmarket racecourse just before the Bunbury Cup on 10 July 2009. He successfully completed the challenge raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

The challenge undertaken was to emulate Robert Barclay Allardice, of Stonehaven, whose most famous feat was walking 1000 miles in 1000 consecutive hours for a wager of 1000 guineas in 1809, 1 June to 12 July. If the report of the total wagers was accurate, this is equivalent to some £5 million ($US 8 million) in modern terms.

2,000 miles across Japan

On 26 March 2017, Dunwoody embarked on the longest fundraising challenge he had yet undertaken: to walk across Japan, covering a distance of 2,000 miles, to raise money for Sarcoma UK cancer charity. His trek, from Cape Sata on the southern tip of Kyushu to Cape Soya, the northernmost part of Hokkaido, is expected to take more than three months. Sarcoma UK is a charity with personal relevance for Dunwoody, whose nephew is currently undergoing treatment for sarcoma cancer.

Strictly Come Dancing

On 25 August 2009 it was announced that he would take part in Series 7 of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing partnering Lilia Kopylova. On 26 September 2009 Dunwoody was voted off of Strictly Come Dancing after his first performance.

Personal life

His autobiography is called Obsessed which was published after his retirement - he retired due to the potential danger of long term damage to his neck. In his autobiography Dunwoody reveals that he experienced a messy divorce with his former wife Carol. Richard runs a betting advisory service, Richard Dunwoody Racing Associates Ltd. and leads riding holidays for adventure travel company Wild Frontiers. He is also a motivational speaker, and has appeared on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.

Dunwoody is a supporter of the Conservative Party, and at the 2010 general election he backed the party after expressing his concern at the county's financial crisis as well as tighter health and safety regulations.


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