Former Grand National winning jockey dies

Former jockey John Buckingham has died
Former jockey John Buckingham has died

Former jockey and valet John Buckingham has died.

John Buckingham, who was 76 and lived in Chipping Warden, rode for Edward Courage at his nearby Edgcote yard but will be best remembered for his first ride in the 1967 Grand National.

He rode 100-1 outsider Foinavon to win the world’s most famous steeplechase. When the field came unstuck at the 23rd fence after a loose horse caused havoc, he managed to make sure Foinavon avoided the melee and went on to win the race and cement his place in the history books.

In 1984, that same fence at Aintree, between Becher’s Brook and the Canal Turn, was officially renamed the Foinavon fence.

After his riding days were over he became a jockeys’ valet, a role he fulfilled until he retired in 2001. During that time he remained a hugely popular character in the weighing room working with the next generation of jockeys.