Richard Dunwoody's path to professional photography has not been the most straightforward, but it is certainly one of the most intriguing.
Born into a horse-racing dynasty in Belfast, his father the trainer and rider of many point-to-point winners, and his maternal grandfather a celebrated trainer at Epsom, Richard knew he would become a jockey from the age of four. His obsession with riding – eloquently captured in his compelling autobiography, Obsessed – drove him to superlative success in a 16-year career which saw him win the Grand National twice, the Cheltenham Gold Cup once, and the King George VI Chase four times, including twice on the legendary Desert Orchid. He was three times Champion Jockey, became an MBE in 1993, and by his retirement in 1999 had amassed nearly 1,900 wins worldwide and beaten Peter Scudamore's record for the most jumps wins.
Retirement wasn't chosen but thrust upon him by a neck injury, leaving him searching for something new to push him to the limit and beyond, as riding had done. He found it first in extreme travel and sports, in 2003 completing the inaugural 350-mile Polar Race to the Magnetic North Pole, and in 2008 becoming the first person to reach the South Pole via a route originally attempted by Earnest Shackleton, as well as leading riding holidays for adventure travel company Wild Frontiers in offbeat locations including Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. Regular exposure to incredible landscapes on his trips rekindled a childhood fascination with photography and, since 2012, he has been gathering acclaim as a professional photographer. His images have appeared in publications worldwide, including Tatler, Four Seasons Magazine and The Racing Post, and he held his first exhibition in 2014, featuring the work of the Brooke Hospital for Animals, at St Martin's In The Fields in London.