John Buckingham and Foinavon all alone in the 1967 Grand National
By Keith Melrose 10:43AM 22 DEC 2016
JOHN BUCKINGHAM, who rode 100-1 shot Foinavon to win the 1967 Grand National, has died at the age of 76.
The story of Foinavon, who was so far behind at the 23rd fence of the 1967 Grand National that he avoided the melee caused by a loose horse at that obstacle, has become one of the most famous in the race’s history.
Buckingham, having his first ride in the National, was reportedly the fourth jockey asked to ride Foinavon and said afterwards: “I’d have ridden Dick’s donkey to be in the Grand National.”
The image of Buckingham and Foinavon circumnavigating the stricken runners and jumping the Canal Turn the best part of a furlong clear have become synonymous with the race. The fence between Becher’s Brook and the Canal Turn was officially renamed the Foinavon fence in 1984.
Buckingham retired a little more than four years after his career-defining victory and became a jockeys’ valet. He continued in that role for 30 years before retiring in 2001.