Legendary Barbadian jockey Venice “Pappy” Richards is dead.
Reports reaching NATION NEWS is that Richards died on Monday in Trinidad and Tobago where he was residing for the past decade.
Richards, who had been working in the twin-island republic as a track consultant at the Santa Rosa race track in Arima, was one of Barbados’ most decorated jockeys.
He won the prestigious Sandy Lane Gold Cup four times, a feat only surpassed this year by Jalon Samuel. Jonathan Jones and Patrick Husbands also rode four Gold Cup winners.
Richards’ first triumph was on Bentom in 1986 and he followed up with three wins on Sandford Prince in 1989, 1991 and 1992.
But Richards admitted in an interview two years ago, that winning the Trinidad Derby meant more to him and he noted the two Derby wins he enjoyed the most were on Royal Colours and Royal Salute, in 1982 and 1983, respectively.
His maiden victory as an apprentice was in Guyana in the late 1960s while his first win in Trinidadian was on a Barbadian horse called Morehaste.
Richards, who hailed from Tweedside Road, St Michael, and was educated at the Modern High School, rode at eight different tracks in the United States, but never in Canada.
Anne and David Seale, now Sir David, leading in Bentom with jockey Venice Richards on board after capturing the 1986 Cockspur Gold Cup.
When contacted Monday night in Canada where he is based, Barbados’ most famous jockey Husbands confirmed the news and hailed Richards as a “legend”.
“He was a man of a few words. From the time I was a little boy and I watched him ride, I wanted to be like him and Chally Jones. Up to this day, he is still highly spoken about when it comes to horse racing in the Southern Caribbean,” Husbands said.
Husbands said Richards was like a father to him.
“For the last 20-something years, the first person that would call me for my birthday at around 5 o’clock in the morning would be Venice, and whenever I go to Trinidad to ride, when I get in the jockeys’ room, he would look after all my riding gear,” he said. (EZS)