Edgar Britt

Shepparton News - - VIEWPOINT -

Happy birth­day to Aus­tralian jockey and rac­ing colum­nist Edgar Britt (1913-2017). Leg­endary Aus­tralian jockey Britt died ear­lier this year aged 103 on the Gold Coast. One of 39 jock­eys in the Aus­tralian Rac­ing Hall of Fame, Britt rode all around the world and won more than 2000 races in Aus­tralia, the US, In­dia and Eng­land, where he was the royal sta­ble jockey for King Ge­orge VI. Born in Bal­main to Syd­ney and Edith, Britt did not in­herit his fa­ther’s 183 cm frame, in­stead grow­ing into a ready­made 150 cm and 40 kg jockey’s body. Ap­pren­ticed to Mick Pol­son in Syd­ney, Britt rode his first win­ner at the age of 16 and ac­com­pa­nied the trainer to the US in 1933 to win the Bal­ti­more Hand­i­cap on Wi­nooka. Af­ter briefly re­turn­ing to Aus­tralia to claim the 1934 Syd­ney Cup aboard Broad Ar­row, Britt ac­cepted an in­vi­ta­tion to In­dia where he spent 10 years rid­ing for royal ma­hara­jas. In 1945, the Ma­haraja of Bar­oda in­vited him to ride in Eng­land and when a top jockey broke his leg in 1948, Britt was asked to step in as the rider for the King. Dur­ing that time he scored 1200 race wins and seven English Clas­sic vic­to­ries, in­clud­ing two Oaks and the St Leger. Fol­low­ing his re­tir­ment in 1959, Britt re­turned to his home­land and wrote a rac­ing col­umn for Syd­ney’s Sun­day Tele­graph for 16 years. In the 1930s he mar­ried dancer Tibby Geoghe­gan, who died in 1980, and the cou­ple had four daugh­ters, Iris, Joan, Ann and Mar­cia. Britt later re­mar­ried to the widow of jockey Jack Cas­sidy, Hermione, be­fore her death in 1999. He was in­ducted into the Aus­tralian Racd­ing Hall of Fame in 2004 and awarded the Or­der of Aus­tralia Medal the same year.

Pic­ture: AAP/Mar­i­anna Massey

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