Hereford & Worcester

New Year Honours 2019: Richard Johnson appointed OBE

Jockey Richard Johnson celebrates after winning the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase on Native River during Day Four of the Cheltenham Racing Festival Image copyright Ramsey Cardy/Getty Images
Image caption Richard Johnson won the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Native River

Champion jockey Richard Johnson has been recognised in the New Year Honours for services to horse racing.

Johnson, 41, who became champion jump jockey for the first time in 2016, has been appointed OBE.

He said the honour was the end to a "fantastic year" which saw him crowned champion jockey for the third year in succession.

Johnson, from Leominster, is one of a number of recipients from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

He said: "I am very honoured. I do something I love doing, I've had an amazing career and still love doing what I do.

"To be honoured outside of racing, from Her Majesty is a fantastic honour, I feel very privileged."

Image copyright Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Image caption Richard Johnson has been named champion jockey three times

His first win under rules was on Rusty Bridge at Hereford in April 1994 and his highest-profile victory of last season was on board Native River in March's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

In 2016, Johnson was crowned jump racing's champion jockey for the first time. His great friend and rival Sir AP McCoy had been the champion for the previous 20 years.

Johnson has also ridden more than 3,500 winners, becoming only the second jockey to get past 3,000. The other was McCoy, who rode more than 4,000 winners.

"I've had a fantastic career anyway, but this year has probably surpassed it," Johnson said.

"I receive the award, but everyone else has helped me to get there, from my parents, all my family, and all the racing world for giving me opportunity."

Image copyright Glyn Kirk/Getty Images
Image caption Richard Johnson is one of only two jockeys to ride more than 3,000 winners

Other recipients from Herefordshire and Worcestershire include:

  • Gillian Elizabeth Aitken, director general, general counsel and solicitor at HM Revenue and Customs, appointed to The Order of the Bath for services to taxpayers and to social mobility
  • Prof David Mino Allen Green, vice chancellor and chief executive at the University of Worcester, appointed CBE for services to higher education.
  • Louisa Helen Rolfe, deputy chief constable at West Midlands Police, appointed OBE for services to policing
  • Susan Glover Durrell, consultant physiotherapist at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust appointed MBE for services to physiotherapy
  • Samantha Schiaffino, personal assistant, director of corporate affairs at nPower awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Macmillan Cancer
  • Bryan Sanderson White, awarded the BEM for services to sport, health and fitness.

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