Tom Scudamore was born on May 22nd 1982 and grew up in the heart of British jump racing, Gloucestershire. He is a third-generation jockey, being the son of eight-time champion jockey Peter and grandson of 1959 Grand National winner Michael.
Growing up in the tiny village of Condicote, Tom rode his first horse at the age of just two years old and was destined to be a jockey from a young age. This didn’t prevent him from achieving an education and he gained two A-Levels as part of a back-up plan to his riding career.
Scudamore began life as a jockey whilst still at college and rode in both codes at the tender age of 16. That first year in the saddle gave him a taste of success, winning his first flat race in July 1998 aboard ‘Nordic Breeze’ at Warwick. He followed that up four months later with a first jumps victory on ‘Young Thruster’.
After a few years gaining experience, Tom rode in his first Grand National in 2001 aboard ‘Northern Starlight’. After reaching that milestone he won his first title when he was named British Champion Amateur Jockey at the end of that season.
Following that successful year, he turned professional in October 2001. He rode his first winner as a pro jockey the same month, with ‘Belle D’Anjou’ winning at Chepstow.
Despite his fine racing heritage Scudamore didn’t have instant success in the sport and has had to work hard to get to where he is today. He didn’t ride over 50 winners in a single season until 2006/07, a feat he has now achieved for the past ten consecutive seasons. His first century of winners came in 2013/14, with 100 victories from 629 rides, which was followed up the next year with 150 winners at a strike rate of 22%.
He amassed over £1million in total prize money for the first time in the same season he rode a 100 winners, finishing with a total of £1,587,004. He has now exceeded the £1million mark in all of the past three seasons.
Scudamore has spent most of his working life riding for the Pipe family, first for Martin before becoming stable jockey to son David in 2007. That formed a partnership that has had several big race victories together and he still holds that position today.
Tom’s first Group/Grade one victory came aboard the Pipe trained ‘Lough Derg’ in the BC Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December 2007. This was just the start of major success for the pair.
Notable Pipe/Scudamore victories include the 2008 Victor Chandler Chase with ‘Tamarinbleu’, ‘Madison Du Berlais’ winning the 2008 Hennessy Gold Cup, The Feltham Novices’ Chase in 2011 with ‘Grands Crus’, 2014 Ryanair Chase with ‘Dynaste’, The Weatherbys Champion Bumper with ‘Moon Racer’ in 2015 and ‘Un Temps Pour Tout’ winning the Ultima Handicap Chase this year.
Despite those victories for Pipe, perhaps the most successful horse Scudamore has ever ridden is the Colin Tizzard trained ‘Thistlecrack’. Together, they have won four Group/Grade one races including the Ryanair World Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival and the Liverpool Stayers’ Hurdle during the Grand National meeting at Aintree in April.
Speaking of Aintree, Scudamore is yet to taste success in the Grand National after 15 attempts. His best finish was eighth place on ‘Puntal’ in 2007 and this year he was unseated at the 19th whilst riding ‘Ballynagour’.
The 2015/16 season has been a bit up and down for Tom, with a couple of nasty falls forcing him to have some time off. He has reached a massive milestone despite the injuries and joined an elite club this season, by riding his 1,000th career winner. That success came aboard ‘Impulsive American’ at Musselburgh in February this year. This adds him to an elite list of jockeys including his father Peter, Sir Tony McCoy, Richard Johnson, Richard Dunwoody and John Francome.
He went on to finish seventh in the race for the champion jump jockey title this year, with 85 winners and will be hoping to do even better next season.
Outside of racing, Scudamore is a happy family man who married Charlotte Stucley, daughter of Sir Hugh and Lady Stucley, in 2005. They have gone on to have two daughters together, with Margot born in September 2006 and Myrtle in 2008.
Tom Scudamore started life with racing in the blood and large footsteps to follow in. He has become a great jockey in his own right and, although there are still milestones to reach, he will go down in the history books as one of the best jockeys of his generation.