Born on May 1st 1960, Steve Cauthen is a retired jockey from the US who rode his first race as a rosy cheeked 16 year old at Churchill Downs, Kentucky. He made it round the ‘athletics style’ course, but came in last on King of Swat. However, he didn’t have to wait long for his fortunes to change, riding his first winner just a week later at River Downs Ohio on Red Pipe
What followed was a rise to fame in the sport that can only be described as meteoric. At the still tender age of 17, Cauthen became the first jockey to register earnings in excess of $6m and just 12 months after that, he was the youngest jockey ever to win the US Triple Crown, eclipsing his prize money tally from the previous year.
After having hit the heights on the US horse racing scene, Steve Cauthen tried his hand in Europe, not least because he was having trouble making the weights in the US. He got off to a fantastic start, winning his first European race on his first appearance, riding Marquee Universal to victory at Salisbury racecourse.
It was to be good portent for Steve Cauthen, as he would go on to have a magnificent career that saw him win three British Champion Jockey titles and ride winners in ten English Classic races. The American jockey was something of a Derby expert, as he added the Derby, the French Derby, the Irish Derby and the Italian Derby to the Kentucky Derby he’d already won before arriving from the US.
Cauthen was rightly honoured after his retirement, receiving the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award and featuring in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga New York. What is most impressive however, was being named as the Racing Post’s 8th best jockey of the 20th Century in 1999.
Once Immortalised as Sports Illustrated ‘Sportsman of the Year’ Steve Cauthen was a true ‘pin up’ in the sport of horseracing who now spends his days running his own stud farm with his wife and three daughters.