Johnson calls Scudamore a “great role model” as he leaves.
Richard Johnson, a former champion jockey and colleague in the weighing room, has led the tributes to Tom Scudamore since his immediate retirement was announced.
Scudamore’s partnership with over 1,500 winners placed him among the top 10 most successful National Hunt jockeys of all time, a list that also includes Johnson.
The majority of Scudamore’s career was spent competing against the record-breaking Sir Anthony McCoy, despite the fact that Scudamore never achieved the status of champion like his father, Peter.
“Tom is a great fella and was always brilliant to ride against and sit next to in the weighing room, so I’m surprised but at the same time he’s had a fantastic career and I’m not shocked he’s decided this is the right time for him,” said Johnson.
“It was the same with me. In your own head if you are happy, that’s the right time.
“He’s been a brilliant jockey but even better than that, he’s a great role model for the young jockeys coming through. He has conducted himself brilliantly over the last 20 years and he’s got a lot to be proud of.
“He’s had a very consistent career, obviously he’s had a great association with the Pipes, he was great to deal with and easy to get on with which is important.
“I’m a little bit surprised, but delighted he’s gone out on his own terms. He’s got children and I can assure him he won’t be bored because with children you are busier after you retire!
“As a jockey you are always looking for good horses. He had plenty but then Thistlecrack came along and he was his main horse and the one people will associate with him winning the King George and those types of races.
“When people were looking for a jockey if their normal jockey was injured, Tom was always one of the names to be sought after so he’s got a lot to be proud of.”
Peter Scudamore, a multiple champion jockey, acknowledged that he still felt a little “numb” despite knowing the day was coming.
“It’s mixed emotions. We’ve been very close throughout all his riding career. Most days we spoke,” he said.
“There is an element of surprise, but at the same time there is a feeling of relief. He’s 40 years of age, so I suppose it was inevitable one day.
“I wasn’t shocked, but a little numb I suppose I would say.
“I had lots of records in my career but I think he’s got more than that, he’s got huge respect within the industry and perhaps I should have taken a leaf out of his book!
“The one day that always sticks out in my career is Next Sensation in the Grand Annual, trained by his brother, Michael.
“I was stood with Luce (Lucinda Russell) in the stand by the second-last so we could just see the last fence. On the first circuit the horse made a terrible mistake and he went down and I thought it was all over, but he came back up again.
“It was AP’s (McCoy) final ride at the Festival, it was a very emotional race, my dad had won it and I’d won it too so that was very special.
“I might have ridden more winners than Tom, but in Thistlecrack he rode a horse probably better than I ever came across. Some may say Carvills Hill, but Thistlecrack achieved more on the track.
“He’s made me very proud.”
Scudamore did not ride many horses for Colin Tizzard, but after Thistlecrack won the Grade One Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, the pair never parted ways.
Tizzard concentrated on Scudamore’s achievements out of the saddle and simply said: “He was a credit to the industry.
“Everyone else can say whatever they want about him as a jockey, I’ll leave that to them, but he was a credit to the industry.”
Throughout his career, Scudamore was linked to Martin’s Pond House stables, followed by David Pipe, who tweeted: “Happy retirement @tommyscu!!
“Thank you for your support, dedication, hard work & talent in the saddle for all these years! We have made a great team and share some wonderful memories & fantastic winners. I’m glad you’re going on your own terms and wish you well for the future.”
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