Tom Scudamore announces retirement from race riding
Leading British jump jockey Tom Scudamore has announced his decision to retire from race riding with immediate effect.
Tom Scudamore has been a jump jockey for 25 years, riding over 1,500 winners, and has achieved over 50 winners a season for 17 consecutive years, including three centuries and a season best of 150 winners in 2014/15.
Tom has won a host of major races during his career with his Grade One victories on Thistlecrack in the King George VI Chase and the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival two of the highlights. Scudamore also rode Mighty Thunder to win the Coral Scottish Grand National in 2021 for his father, Peter Scudamore, and his partner Lucinda Russell.
Tom Scudamore said: “I’m going to be 41 in May and the body doesn’t bounce like it used to and that’s the key. I feel fine physically so I’m going out on my own terms. I’ve given all I can give, and don’t want to let anybody down.
“I didn’t want to hang on to Cheltenham, or to Aintree, to ride this horse or that horse. I want to ride every horse to the best of my ability, so I feel now is the right time. It’s not a retirement, it’s a change of jobs.
“I’ve been speaking to my wife Sarah about it for a while as having turned 40 we both knew I was on the back nine of my career, there was no getting away from that. My grandfather had his career taken away from him through no decision of his own, as he had a bad fall, and I didn’t want to be in that position.
“Very few jockeys get to choose to retire, they sometimes lose their jobs, or don’t get any rides any more or they get injured and the doctor tells them to retire. So I wanted to do it on my terms. I had a concussion last week, and went to see the doctor, and he said some things that resonated with me. I have a beautiful young family and it’s time to focus more time on them.
“I don’t feel sad, I don’t feel relief really, I just feel very proud of what I’ve achieved. I was given a deck of cards, and I feel I played them in the best possible way I could. I would have loved to have won a Gold Cup, I’d have loved to win a Grand National, I’d have loved to be champion jockey, but those weren’t in my deck of cards. But every card I had I played to the best of my ability.
“Riding Thistlecrack and Next Sensation were two of the horses I look back on with lots of pride and satisfaction as they gave me some great moments in the saddle. But the thing I’m probably most proud about was the longevity and strength of my working relationship with David Pipe.
“I could count on one hand the amount of arguments we’ve had. He left it to me to ride the horses and we had such a good working relationship. I had a few offers along the way but I was never going to leave.
“I rode 150 winners in one season and only nine jockeys have ever done that. Things like that give me enormous pride.
“My first winner was Nordic Breeze for Martin Pipe at Warwick in 1998, just after I’d finished my GCSEs. I remember sitting in the weighing room being in awe of AP McCoy, Jamie Osborne, Richard Dunwoody and Adrian Maguire. They were the top jockeys at the time, and I think that generation of jockeys is the best I’ve seen.
“I’m going to miss lots of things about the weighing room, I like to think I get on with most of the jockeys, and I will miss the valets a lot, what they do and how they conduct themselves. They have my utmost admiration.
“There are so many people to thank. My grandfather was a huge inspiration to me. I spent so much time with him in my teens and he was an incredible person to learn off. My dad has always been my hero, I’ve always wanted to emulate him.
“I want to thank Martin Pipe who I first went to work for. He didn’t just teach me about horses, he taught me about life. They’ve produced so many top jockeys, the likes of Rodi Greene, Jamie Moore, Tom Bellamy, Tom Cannon, Danny Cook, Connor O’Farrell, Gordon Elliott, the list goes on and on. It’s a great credit to Martin and David and everyone at Pond House, I want to thank them all.
“I’m going to let the dust settle. I would like to stay in racing in some capacity. I have some media commitments and I’m enjoying working with Coral as an ambassador, so I’m excited about the future.
“Everything I’ve achieved, everything I’ve done, I wouldn’t have done any of it without the support of my family – my wife and my three daughters. It’s all because of them. They’ve had to put up with a lot. Going to events on their own without me or picking me up at two o’clock in the morning from hospital. They’ve never complained and they’ve allowed me to achieve everything I have.”