Steve Donoghue

"... And they're off!"

Steve Donoghue - Self Portrait

Life and Legacy

Steven Donoghue was born November 8, 1884 in Cheshire, England. His father was a steel worker and his mother was a stay at home mom, they had no connection with horses or racing in his family. When Steve was 12 years old he left home to pursue his dream of being a jockey after riding a donkey at the circus and receiving a prize for it. Donoghue was apprenticed to John Porter when he was 14 years old, but ran away after being beaten for allowing a horse to get loose on the gallops After working in two British stables he was offered the opportunity to ride in France in 1905 which he gladly accepted. His greatest accomplishments came in the Epsom Derby which he won six times. The three consecutive wins in the early 1920s, on Humorist (1921), Captain Cuttle (1922) and Papyrus (1923) - these were the high points of his career. He was also associated with the horse Brown Jack who he rode to six consecutive wins in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was a Champion Jockey 10 times between 1914 and 1923 and was one of the most celebrated horse racing sportsmen after Fred Archer, arguably only Sir Gordon Richards eclipsing him.

Steve riding Papyrus

He retired from horseback riding at the age of 52 in 1937, the year in which he won two classics on the filly Exhibitionist. Also in 1937 he appeared in Wings of the Morning and played himself, Britain's first Technicolor film. Despite earning a great deal during his career his "impulsive generosity" and lack of business skills led to financial difficulties. He took up training at Blewbury, a famous racehorse, but had little success. Donoghue died in London on March 23, 1945 from a fatal heart attack.

Donoghue in the Epson Derby

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