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Friday, June 14, 2024
Home Horse Racing Brian Hughes

Brian Hughes

Born in 1985, Brian Hughes grew up in County Armagh in Northern Ireland. Initially aspiring to be a Flat Jockey, at the age of 14 he was already riding out for local trainer James Lambe at Down Royal. Aged 16, he left school to attend the Irish Turf Clubs racing academy (RACE) in Kildare.

Since moving to the UK, he has ridden over 1,800 winners over jumps and has surpassed 100 winners every year since the 2014-2015. In 2022 he became the 4th jockey to ride over 200 winners in a season when riding Dreams of Home to victory at Perth. He has enjoyed success at the Cheltenham festival, with his first winner coming in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap hurdle aboard Hawk High in 2014, followed by Ballyalton (2016) and Mister Whittaker (2018). In April 2023 he was crowned Champion Jumps Jockey for the 3rd time.

Moving To England

After moving to the North of England in 2005, Hughes began to establish himself as one of a number of top young jockeys and before long was in high demand for many local trainers.

The switch to jump racing, which was enforced due to weight issues, was not just fortunate but also written in the stars as it allowed Hughes to follow in the footsteps of his heroes, fellow Northern Irishmen AP McCoy and Tony Dobbin.

Style wise, Hughes has even gone so far as to emulate the aggressive riding style of McCoy and really attacking fences.

Hughes was also fortunate to take inspiration from Graham Lee whose composed riding style was a perfect fit and allows riders to get horses into a great rhythm and conserve energy while still gliding over obstacles almost effortlessly.

Before long, Hughes had developed into the ultimate horseman, talented, a brilliant tactician with a powerful finish.

Consistent And Reliable

During his astonishing career, Brian Hughes has been one of the most consistent and reliable jockeys on the circuit and has established himself as the number one rider to be based in the North.

In April 2021, Hughes was honoured with the Northern Jump Jockey of the year for the sixth consecutive season.

In November the same year, the prolific national hunt rider became the fastest Northern based jump jockey to reach 100 wins in a season after enjoying success on the back of Dreams Of Home at Ayr.

Hughes is also in an elite group of jockeys to have ridden more than 1,000 career winners, a milestone he passed three years ago.

At the time of writing, only four Jump jockeys still riding – Paddy Brennan, Tom Scudamore, Davy Russell and Richard Johnson - have ridden more winners.

Presently, Hughes has 19 victories in graded races, one of which was in the Group One listed Ascot Chase in 2018 on the Ruth Jefferson trained Waiting Patiently, while he has also chalked up three Cheltenham Festival winners.

Champion Jump Jockey

Ten years previously, Hughes got to show the Jump racing world what a talent he was when he won the Champion Conditional Jockey’s title, but nothing could compare to winning the 2019/2020 Champion Jump Jockeys’ title.

On becoming the champion jockey, Hughes became the first northern based jockey for 40 years to do so since Jonjo O'Neill in 1980.

Today, Hughes lives with his wife and children at the family home on his wife’s parents farm of in Carlton in Cleveland, North Yorkshire.

A real family man who regards his children as his most treasured possession, Hughes is such a committed professional that he famously went riding out on the gallops on the morning of his wedding day