Join the Scudamores as one of the most successful families in British sport settles down for a good, long chat about triumph and disaster at the races. Listen in as three generations of high-flying jump jockeys engage in a full and frank discussion about the great horses they rode, the brave men and women they rode against, the shocking injuries they suffered and why such a dangerous job was the only one they ever wanted.
Their racing dynasty began in the 1940s, when 15-year-old Michael was summoned from the grandstand at Hereford and told by his father that he was about to have his first ride in a race. Michael eventually won the Grand National before passing the torch to his son, Peter, who was champion jockey eight times in the 80s and 90s. The Scudamore flame is now carried by Tom, son of Peter, whose long career has been crowned by his association with the mighty Thistlecrack.
Along the way, they have overcome many obstacles, including some placed in their way by other Scudamores, strong-mindedness being something of a family tradition. Tom's granny tried hard to feed him up when he was a child, so she might be spared having to watch another family member ride over fences. Peter's grandchildren are entertained by watching him fall in an old Grand National video and then phoning him up to laugh at him about it.
Strikingly different in character and in riding style, the Scudamore jockeys are alike in their ability to spin a good yarn and to shed light on the game that has so gripped them. Packed with insights that will help any young jockey or deepen the understanding of any spectator, this is the story of how three lives were shaped by horse racing and how the sport changed, matured and developed during the time of their involvement.
Peter views this book as a tribute to his father and other jockeys of that era, whose names and stories are in danger of fading from the collective memory of racing followers. He says the process of writing it has been a kind of therapy, helping him to grasp how fortunate his family has been.
Hardback, 272 pages, 978-1-910497-72-2.