Happy Retirement Leighton
The time has finally arrived for Leighton to retire from race riding and he will do it tomorrow at Fontwell.
It’s a day I’ve dreaded but obviously as he’s in his early forties it’s a day I knew would come sooner rather than later and I’m delighted he’s been able to do it on his terms.
Leighton rode his first winner for me on Claymore in 2004, he went on to ride 231 more, his last being Manning Estate at Doncaster earlier this month.
During his time at Rhonehurst he has built up some notable partnerships obviously Many Clouds was the most famous but horses like Erics Charm and Puffin Billy were pretty wayward as youngsters yet he had the ability to make them look easy with his sympathetic hands and gentle way of riding.
His educating of the young horses is what I will probably miss the most.
Lash is a man of few words but I can honestly say there has never been a cross one between us, he has been a brilliant stable jockey, a true horseman and I wouldn’t hesitate to put him in the same bracket as Francome, Dunwoody and Osborne at presenting a horse at an obstacle....something I think you appreciate more when you see him schooling regularly at home.
It’s been a privilege and I only wish I could have given him a Cheltenham Festival winner because he will be one of the best jockeys I’ve seen not to have ridden one.... great days ...good memories...thank you and good luck for the future.
Below are a selection of photographs of Leighton, I’m struggling to remember who took them all so please tag yourself and thank you ??