Bob Champion MBE
Bob Champion was born in 1948 into a hunting family. His father was huntsman to the Cleveland in Teesside, where he started riding at an early age hunting with his sister and father.
At the age of 15 he rode his first point to point winner then went into National Hunt racing with Toby Balding at Weyhill, eventually riding for many top trainers including Josh Gifford.
Bob’s racing career took him toAmericawhere he rode several winners. In 1979 he was diagnosed to have cancer and was given 6 months to live. After several months of chemotherapy he returned to race riding, coming back with several winners both in England and America.
In 1981 Bob won the Grand National on Aldaniti, trained by Josh Gifford. He finally retired from racing in 1983 having won some 500 races. Other major races that Bob won during his career were the Tote Ider Chase, The Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, The Black & White Hurdle, The SGB Chase, The SGB Hurdle & the Whitbread Trial Chase.
In 1983 he received the MBE and also formed the Bob Champion Cancer Trust which to date has raised some ten million pounds towards cancer research.
Bob had his life story portrayed in the book “Champion’s Story” which was made into a feature film starring John Hurt.
In August 1996 Bob undertook “Ride for Life”which was a ride on several horses from Hollyrood Palace in Edinburgh to BuckinghamPalace,London where he was greeted by Her Majesty the Queen. This was to raise a million pounds towards o new research unit at theRoyal Marsden Hospital. This sum has now been achieved and the Institute of Cancer have also donated a further million pounds towards the project. The new research unit was opened in September 2000.
Bob retired from training horses in 1999, having achieved many winners and continues to live in Newmarket,Suffolk.
In April 2000 Bob commenced a pilot scheme withNorthern Racing College to encourage school leavers to have a career as stable staff and apprentice jockeys.
In 2004 he was a guest of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness, Price Philip, Duke of Edingburgh on their state visit to the Republic of France.
Bob is an accomplished After Dinner and Corporate Motivational Speaker and in 2000 had the honour of speaking at the Oxford Union.
In 2008 Bob has continued to speak at our client audiences such as Bracknell Forrest Borough Council Business Breakfasts and the National Farmers Union.