Life lessons: Four-time champion jockey Richard Johnson *H&H Plus*

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  • Richard grew up on a farm, enjoying jumping and hunting during his childhood. Having been second to AP McCoy on 16 occasions in the champion jockey title race, he was crowned champion for the first time in 2016 and followed up with a further three titles.

    When I left school aged 16, I went to work for the late David Nicholson. He was a trainer with old-fashioned values and it was his way or the highway. I learnt many important lessons during my time there; not only discipline when it came to how the horses were looked after, but also with how you were around people – always to be on time and be polite.

    Anyone wanting to be a jockey needs to be prepared to work hard and be patient. I was at the bottom of the ladder when I arrived at David’s and it took me two years to get my first ride for him. There are no shortcuts; trainers will give you the opportunity once they feel you are ready.