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Richard Dunwoody - Method in my Madness

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Richard Dunwoody is on the show today to talk about his new autobiography 'Method In My Madness', which is released in bookstores now.

Thomas Brightman Publications Press release has said: "All sportsmen fear retirement. Time is our great enemy", 14 times Champion Jockey AP McCoy acknowledges in the foreword, and this thought provoking and self-aware book reflects on what it is like to stare into the void left by a professional career and all consuming-life taken away by early retirement.
Sitting on the other side of the fence Richard reveals his thoughts on how racing has changed in the last ten years and on the jockeys of today, paying particular attention to the question of who is the greatest of them all.

Method In My Madness confirms Richard remains a driven and focused individual. Whether he is flirting with polar bears in the Arctic, enduring dramatic human tensions on the Antarctic ice, taking tea and tips from the Queen, leading riding holidays in war torn lands, walking 1000 miles in 1000 hours going nowhere in Newmarket or taking to the Strictly Come Dancing floor with Lilia Kopylova, his sense of adventure is combined with a keen sense of perspective and humour.
The story is told with the characteristic candour that defined his bestselling career autobiography Obsessed, and Method In My Madness is packed with opinion on well known names from racing and sport but most tellingly on the people from all walks of life that have become his new role models.

In answering the questions he is asked most often, Richard poses a few of his own. Never again will people wonder why he "turned his back on racing".

Richard Dunwoody is a man who has always done things his own way, inspiring some, irritating others. Method In My Madness continues this rich vein of form".

Richard Dunwoody
Richard was born in Belfast, and his father George rode and trained many winners in his native Ireland, while his grandfather Dick Thrale also trained at Epsom.

He moved with his family to England when he was young and was sent to board at Rendcomb College, near Cheltenham. He then moved on to an apprenticeship with Paul Kelleway at Newmarket, and the joined the National Hunt yard of Captain Tim Foster when he left school in 1981.

As an amateur jockey, he rode his first winner on Game Trust at Cheltenham in May 1983. He turned professional at the start of the 1984-85 season and found himself partnering the favourite of the Grand National, West Tip, nine months later.

His big race victories include the King George VI Chase four times on the legendary grey Desert Orchid 1989 and 1990, and One Man 1995 and 1996.

Richard was the only jockey of his generation to win the National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle.

He has received an MBE and the Lester Award for Jump Jockey of the Year on five occasions.

"Turning freelance in 1995 Richard continued to ride for many of the leading yards in England and Ireland, including those of Dermot Weld, Edward O'Grady, Willie Mullins, Philip Hobbs, Paul Nicholls, Jenny Pitman and Gordon Richards. He rode One Man to win two more King Georges at Sandown and Kempton and won the Hennessey Gold Cup at Leopardstown on both Dorans Pride and Florida Pearl. A neck injury forced Richard's premature retirement in 1999, having clocked up almost 1,900 winners worldwide and having surpassed Peter Scudamore's record for all-time jumps wins".

In January 2008 Richard and American explorer Doug Stoup 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. The two explorers lost over 2 stone in weight. Richard told the BBC that "To finally arrive at the pole is indescribable and my greatest achievement".

Richard competed this year on the hugely successful Strictly Come Dancing series this year. He was partnered with dancer Lailia Kopylova but was the first to be voted off the series.

Professional dancer Lila said of Richard; "Well Richard you definitely have been by far the most hard working partner I've had. He's really worked so hard because it didn't come easy. The best thing is I'm going to finally get to learn how to ride horses now."

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.
"He joined the BBC racing team at Aintree, writes a column for the Daily Mirror pull-out section on Saturdays and is a consultant to the British Racing School at Newmarket, where he coaches young and up-and-coming jockeys".
Method in My Madness: 10 Years Out Of The Saddle is available from and all good bookshops, priced £18.99