The jockey Tom Scudamore has confirmed that he is retiring with immediate effect. The decision came after he was unseated from his ride at Leicester on Thursday. Aged 40, Scudamore retired as the tenth most successful jump jockey ever, thanks to his record of 1,511 winners during his career.
He had a lot to live up to when he decided to enter racing, given that he is the son of former Champion Jockey Peter Scudamore, but he more than lived up to the family name with his exploits in the saddle. He had worked as the stable jockey for David Pipe from 2007.
Having suffered a concussion ten days prior, Scudamore was unseated by Ya Know Taseff at Leicester and took that as ‘a bit of a warning’ that it was time to hang up his saddle. As with all of the most successful jump jockeys, some of Scudamore’s best moments came at Prestbury Park.
During his career he enjoyed ten wins at the Cheltenham Festival, including taking Dynaste to victory in the Ryanair Chase in 2014. Arguably the biggest win of his career came on the back of Thistlecrack in the King George VI Chase in 2016.
From Horse Racing Stock
There is certainly an argument of nepotism in the world of horse racing, given just how many families tend to see children, brothers and sisters all enter into the sport at one point or another. The same is true of Tom Scudamore, who not only followed in his father’s footsteps but also those of his grandfather.
Michael Scudamore is probably best-known for his Grand National victory in 1959 on the back of Oxo. That win was won of 16 consecutive appearances in the ‘World’s Greatest Steeplechase’, coming two years after his Gold Cup win with Linwell.
Peter Scudamore was just a baby when his father won the National, remembering very little but the fall that ended his racing career. He rode competitively for the first time in 1978, going on to break many jump records during his time in the saddle. By the time he retired, having won 13 races at the Cheltenham Festival, he did so with a then-record 1,678 wins during his career.
Another record of his was the most winners in a single season of 221, becoming Champion Jockey eight times before his retirement. The only shame was that he never won any of the Grand National, Gold Cup or King George.
Keeping Up The Family Tradition
Tom Scudamore was born on the 22nd of May in 1982, growing up in the Gloucestershire village of Nauton. He began riding as a two-year-old, which perhaps isn’t all that much of a surprise considering his family stock and the fact that he are up in the heart of British jump racing land.
Educated at Cheltenham College Junior School before heading to Cheltenham College, he obtained two A-levels after beginning his career as a jockey, ensuring that he had an educational back-up to his career in case the racing didn’t work out.
His first win came on the flat when he took Nordic Breeze to victory at Warwick in the July of 1998. Later in the same year, he tasted victory in steeplechasing for the first time courtesy of a win on the back of Young Thruster at Newton Abbot Racecourse.
By 2001 he had progressed so much that he was named the Champion Amateur Jockey, also taking place in the Grand National for the first time on Northern Starlight. He turned professional in the October, winning for the first time with his new status whilst riding Belle d’Anjou at Chepstow.
During his racing career, Scudamore enjoyed notable wins in the likes of the Ladbroke Hurdle with Desert Air, the Eider Chase on the back of Nil Desperandum and the Red Square Gold Cup thanks to the work of Heltornic. During the 2013-2014 campaign, he rode 100 winners and unquestionably the biggest of those came on the back of Thistlecrack in the King George VI Chase at Kempton in the December of 2016. He initially rode for Martin Pipe, but was kept on by the stable when Martin retired and his son took over the reigns.
Scudamore & Cheltenham
As with his father, Tom Scudamore enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Cheltenham Festival. He won ten races at Prestbury Park and will undoubtedly be missed by all those that love the racing at Prestbury Park. His winners were as follows:
- Festival Trophy Handicap Chase with An Accordion in 2008
- Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase with Salut Flo in 2012
- Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase with Ballyagour in 2014
- Ryanair Chase with Dynaste in 2014
- Arkle Challenge Trophy with Western Warhorse in 2014
- Champion Bumper with Moon Racer in 2015
- Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase in 2015
- Stayers’ Hurdle with Thistlecrack in 2016
- Festival Trophy Handicap Chase with Un Temps Pour Tout in 2016
- Festival Trophy Handicap Chase with Un Temps Pour Tout in 2017
Why He’s Retiring
Sadly, the Cheltenham Festival will not get the chance to see Tom Scudamore ride again. In spite of the fact that we’re just a month away from things getting underway at Prestbury Park, the jockey has confirmed his retirement with immediate effect.
Ultimately, it was about protecting himself as much as possible. He said, “At my age you have to be careful. I feel I have had a bit of a warning. Falls I could take in the past are harder to take now. I had a concussion ten days ago and. I have been concussed a few times in the past.”
His decisions comes even though he wasn’t concussed after his fall at Leicester, though he did ‘get a right kicking’, which he was decided to take as a warning and get out of the game before anything more serious happens. Given the fact that his career has lasted for a quarter of a century, there will be few that begrudge the rider his chance to get out on top.
It does mean that the name ‘Scudamore’ will no long appear in the Weighing Room, at least for the time being, but the family can be proud of everything it achieved in racing.