Shock as top local jump jockey Wayne Hutchinson retires
The news has come as a shock to the jump racing world.Wayne Hutchinson, whose career was so closely linked to Barbury Castle trainer Alan King, has announced his retirement.
Hutchinson, who is 38 and lives in Swindon, has had a seventeen year career as a professional jockey and ridden 800 winners. His partnership with Alan King was described today as 'formidable'.
He won twice at the Cheltenham Festival as well as winning at Group One level. In 2013 he won the Festival's Coral Cup on Medinas - a 33/1 outsider.
He joined Alan King when he was 21 and became the trainer's number one jockey in 2015. More recently he has also been one of Neil King's jockeys of choice - he trains just over the downs from Alan King.
Last season was Hutchinson's most successful with 88 winners. And over the last five seasons he had 1,544 rides and 273 winners.
Hutchinson missed several weeks of the summer jump programme after he broke a bone in his hand while schooling on the Downs. But once fit again, he resumed racing and on his first ride back had what turns out to be his last winner - with Scarlet Dragon in a Listed handicap hurdle at Market Rasen.
His last two rides for Alan King were at Hereford on 15 October - neither horse did Hutchinson justice. His ride on 8-year-old Peggies Venture in the Mares Handicap Chase left Wayne 54 l;engths behind the winner. Mahlermade did even worse for him - coming home 79 lengths behind the winner
One of his best remembered victories was his win on the tough little grey Smad Place in the 2015 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
Champion jockey Richard Johnson tweeted: "Shocked but want to wish [Wayne Hutchinson] a happy retirement - great jockey and top man. True Professional and another loss to the weighing room. Good luck in the future."
Fellow jockey Daryl Jacob addeded: "Absolutely gutted to read the news that [Wayne Hutchinson] is retiring. We had many a laughs together. A real role model for the younger guys coming up. Will be massively missed by me and many others. All the best on your new chapter."
Tom Bellamy - a younger jockey who has worked alongside Hutchinson at King's Barbury Castle stables - has special reasons to wish him well: "Happy retirement from riding to a great mentor, colleague and most of all friend. Been a big help to me since I moved to Alan’s and have enjoyed watching him over the years. Good luck for the future."