country of citizenship:
award received: Member of the Order of the British Empire
John Francome (13 December 1952) is a former National Hunt Champion Jockey, television pundit and author.
Born in Swindon, Wiltshire, the son of a railway fireman, his family had no connection with the horse racing world. At sixteen years old he became apprentice to Lambourn trainer Fred Winter and so began his career as a jockey. He rode a total of 1,138 winners, his last being in April 1985. During the course of his career he was Champion Jockey seven times, between 1976 and 1985. Francome is the third most successful National Hunt jump jockey of all time after Tony McCoy (20 championships) and Peter Scudamore (8 championships). He is dubbed the best jockey never to have won the Grand National.
After retiring, Francome was awarded the MBE in 1986 for services to racing. He was a trainer for 18 months before becoming a TV presenter for Channel 4's horse racing broadcasts. Like another former jockey, Dick Francis, Francome has taken to writing works of fiction. His books have featured on the bestseller lists. Francome ceased appearing on Channel 4 Racing at the close of 2012 when the Highflyer Production term ended. He stated in a Racing Post interview that he had only continued to work on TV for so long out of loyalty to producer Andrew Franklin.
John Francome held the position of President of the Injured Jockeys Fund from 2012 to 2016 and is currently (February 2020) a Vice Patron.
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