Richard Dunwoody is a champion jockey. After retiring from horseracing due to injury Richard continued to show his determination conquering The North Pole, The South Pole, not to mention the judges of Strictly Come Dancing! With his determined mind-set, Richard makes an excellent motivational speaker, and adventures both on and off the saddle also make him an in demand after dinner speaker.
From an award-winning champion jockey, to an extreme adventurer and a Strictly Come Dancing star turned a tireless charity campaigner, Richard Dunwoody, MBE is a motivational speaker of the highest calibre.
On the speaking circuit, he is able to give audiences a flavour of life in the weighing room, racing in the Aintree Grand National, and partnering one of the greatest horses of all time, Desert Orchid. Tales from the racecourse can be contrasted with anecdotes from his travels all over the world in the past 18 years, from what it is like to come face to face with a polar bear in the Arctic, to dicing with cavernous crevasses in Antarctica, and even to holidaying in Kabul.
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Richard became the only jockey of his generation to win the ‘Big Three’ National Hunt races following wins on West Tip (Aintree Grand National 1986), Charter Party (Cheltenham Gold Cup 1988) and Kribensis (Champion Hurdle 1990). He also partnered the great Desert Orchid to seven victories. He won the Grand National again on Miinnehoma in 1994 and was Champion Jockey three times (1993-95).
Since retiring as a jockey in 1999, Richard has travelled extensively and undertaken expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic. In 2003, he competed in the inaugural Polar Race to the Magnetic North Pole, and, in 2008, he completed an unsupported expedition to the South Pole, travelling around 700 miles on skis.
In 2009, he started a 1000 Mile Challenge to walk the same mile 1000 consecutive times for 1000 consecutive hours in Newmarket. Racing legend Lester Piggott joined him for the last mile, raising enormous amounts of money for four charities - Racing Welfare, the Alzheimer's Society, Sparks and Spinal Research. THe same year, he climbed Aconcagua, one of the Seven Summits.
In 2017, to raise funds for Sarcoma UK he walked the length of Japan's three largest islands covering over 2000 miles in 101 days.
Richard has written two autobiographies - 'Obsessed: Richard Dunwoody: The Autobiography' and 'Method in My Madness, 10 Years out of the Saddle.'
He reports on racing for the BBC and writes about racing for various publications, as well as coaching businesses on corporate team-building sessions and through motivational speaking.
He received an MBE in 1993 and in 2008 the University of Ulster awarded him an honorary degree in recognition of his contribution to the sporting industry. He is also a patron for the charities; Speakers, Spinal Research and Racing Welfare.
Besides sport, adventure and travel, he has always been passionate about photography. Since studying photojournalism at the Speos Institute in Paris in 2011 his images have featured in publications around the world and in 2014 The Brooke Hospital (an equine charity) held a successful exhibition of his images of working equines at St Martin in the Fields in London.
Richard has presented at environmental and sporting societies, as well as at literary societies, his large reach of audiences ensures his motivational story will be well received at any after dinner occasion.
His speaking topics include:
- Choosing a positive attitude
- Overcoming the fear of failure and adversity in sport
- Exploring the great outdoors
- Adventure photography and the environment
- Setting goals