Legendary Barbadian jockey Venice ‘Pappy’ Richards is dead

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Bajan jockey Venice Richards

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Reports reaching Nation News is that renowned Barbadian jockey Venice 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 racetrack 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 Trinidad 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.

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 5:00 am was Richards, 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.

THE BIG RACES WON BY VENICE “PAPPY” RICHARDS

BARBADOS GOLD CUP

1985 – Bentom

1989 – Sandford Prince

1991 – Sandford Prince

1992 – Sandoford Prince

BARBADOS GUINEAS

1967 – Macusla

1970 – Vitesse

1986 – Hi Girl

1989 – Coo Bird

 MIDSUMMER CLASSIC

(Derby Trial)

1985 – Country Squire

1989 – Coo Bird

1992 – Style and Flair

1993 – Secret Habitat

 BARBADOS DERBY

1968 – None Nicer

1984 – Genarator

1989 – Secret Habitat

TRIPLE CROWN

1989 – Coo Bird