The horse racing fraternity was yesterday plunged into mourning three months after the passing of Wayne DaCosta, when another stalwart in the industry, trainer Richard Todd, passed away.
It is understood that the former two-time president of the United Racehorse Trainers' Association of Jamaica collapsed at his stables in the morning and was pronounced dead at hospital. He was 61 years old.
He was part of the long-standing Todd racing family, which included his father L C Todd (retired trainer), mom Monica, owner and his son Steven, who is currently plying his trade as a conditioner. Richard Todd saddled over 810 winners in a distinguished career with his last being Danceallnight on March 20, 2021.
His career tally of winners has placed him seventh on the list of all-time trainers based on winners.
Only the late Wayne DaCosta (2,290 wins), as well as Philip Feanny (2,049 wins); Anthony Nunes (1,150 wins); the late Allan Williams (1,120 wins), Kenneth Mattis (1,070 wins) and Laura Cliggott (976 wins) have saddled more winners than Todd.
Apart from preparing horses for many years, he was part of the Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment (SVREL) administrative team when the company took over the promotion of horse racing in 2016.
He left that administrative post to resume the training of horses.
Long-time friend and colleague trainer Gresford “Greasy” Smith said the passing of Richard Todd was another blow to the industry.
“Richie has been with us for such a long time. He was part of the fabric of horse racing in Jamaica along with his family. He was my friend and was one who dedicated his life to the betterment of the sport,” he said.
Current president of the United Racehorse Trainers' Association of Jamaica Ryan Darby was equally saddened by the passing of the man he saw as a mentor and someone with whom he was “very close” for a long time. He expressed sincere condolences to Richard's family, especially his son Steven, also a very close friend of his.
Below are some reactions from other colleagues:
Fabian “Tallyman” White, president of the Grooms' Association of Jamaica:
“This is shocking news to hear. I mean, the passing of an icon like Richard Todd is just sad, it is a sad moment for us all. Just the other day Wayne DaCosta left us and now another great man in Richard Todd... the racing industry is in mourning. Richard Todd was a very good trainer and a very good person as well. I am speaking for the grooms that work with him and for all those who do not work with him, he will always be remembered. Condolence to his family and friends.”
Roy Matthews, trainer:
“I mean, it is very sad news hearing about the passing of a great man in Richard Todd. Todd was a jovial person and you can go to him and talk to him very easily. He is that type of person that you can reason with. Todd was a very good man, and I can tell you, he is second to Wayne DaCosta. Normally, we are in the trainers' room and he would be there talking to us, telling us what was going on, and thing. Condolence to his family members.”
David “Scorcher” McKenzie, jockey:
“Richie Todd, I knew him for a very long time before he even started to train race horses. I used to go up to his house and played table tennis with him. His father L C Todd took me up there to play as I used to ride horses for him as well. I can't believe that Richie has gone, this is shocking news to hear. Richard Todd was one of my good friends, his son Steven as well. I don't know the word to use but he will be missed. He was an icon and I know the racing fraternity is mourning right now, but I am only hoping that his family will be strong. I am really sorry. I feel bad for his family.”