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Top Cheltenham Festival Jockeys:Terry Biddlecombe
Tue, Jan 27th, 2015

Terry Biddlecombe

Terry Biddlecombe sadly died in early January 2014 after a lengthy illness.

He had a legendary status among the jump racing fraternity and beyond. Jim McGrath put together this tribute for Channel 4 racing.


Terry Biddlecombe died on January 5 2014 at the age of 72. Gloucester-born Biddlecombe had a huge impact on Jump racing both as a leading jockey in the 1960s and 1970s and latterly working in partnership with his wife, the trainer Henrietta Knight. His memorial takes place today at Cheltenham Racecourse.

As a jockey Biddlecombe enjoyed nine winners at The Festival, headed by the Fred Rimell-trained Woodland Venture in the 1967 Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was also champion Jump jockey on three occasions - 1964/65, 1965/66 and 1968/69 (jointly with Bob Davies).

He recorded his first winner at Wincanton on Burnella in March, 1958 and enjoyed his final victory at the same course on Finmoss in March, 1974. In total, he rode 908 winners over 17 seasons between 1958 and 1974, with the bulk of his big-race successes coming on horses trained by Fred Rimell. His final day in the saddle came at Cheltenham in 1974.

Following his retirement as a jockey, Biddlecombe worked as a broadcaster and spent time in Australia before returning to Britain. He met Henrietta Knight at Malvern Sales in 1992 and the couple subsequently married in 1995. Together, they formed a formidable partnership and went on to make West Lockinge Farm in Oxfordshire one of the leading Jump yards in the country.

The pair enjoyed phenomenal success at The Festival, with their seven winners headed by Best Mate, who became the first horse since Arkle to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup three times when successful in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Another highlight was the thrilling victory of Edredon Bleu in the 2000 Queen Mother Champion Chase, when a new course record time was set.

The legendary Fred Rimell provided Terry with five of his winners the highlight being Woodland Venture in the 1967 Gold Cup.

Terry's Cheltenham Festival winners were :

Race

Year

Horse

Trainer

Supreme Novices

1963

Honour Bound

Fred Rimell

Festival Trophy

1964

Prudent Barney

Bobby Renton

Gold Cup

1967

Woodland Venture

Fred Rimell

Supreme Novices

1969

Normandy

Fred Rimell

Arkle

1969

Chatham

Fred Rimell

Triumph

1969

Coral Diver

Fred Rimell

Supreme Novices

1971

Persian Majesty

Ryan Price

Terry rode over 900 career winners and was Champion Jockey in 1965,1966 and 1969. He finished second in the 1972 Grand National on Gay Trip.

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