Jockey Billy Nicholson – a life in racing

After a lifelong career in racing, Billy Nicholson, aged 68, is now a work jockey in Lambourn, riding out four horses every morning for trainer Charlie Hills.

Billy’s first interest in horses developed when he was living in Hong Kong as a child. He rode polo ponies for a year when he was aged 16 before coming back to England with his family.

In 1969 he worked as apprentice to Toby Balding, riding three winners from 1969-76.  He then went to Kenya, where he rode for Dennis Lathbury for two years, riding about 30 winners for him during that time.  

One of his most memorable wins was on a filly called Silver Dipper.

In 1978 Billy moved to Malton in Yorkshire but he also rode horses in the Isle of Man, where he won the Isle of Man Derby in the early 80s. 

He also spent three winter months in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia for Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud between 1981-1984, riding 40 winners in total over there.

Billy stopped riding professionally in 1984 and returned to England and settled in Lambourn, where he went to work first for Barry Hills at Manton and now for his son Charlie. He doesn’t, however, plan to retire any time soon…


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