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By Damian Browne | Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Recently retired multiple Group 1 winning jockey Damian Browne writes a weekly, personal blog … exclusive to HRO. This week Browne pays tribute to Jeffrey Lloyd … a champion jockey and a champion bloke

Jeff Lloyd rides in his last race meeting at Doomben on Saturday. To say he will be missed on so many fronts would be an understatement.

Jeff brought a lot to the jockey room. Firstly, there is his experience. As I’ve said before, you can’t buy experience and he has got that in spades.

Jeff is one of those people who doesn’t talk for the sake of talking. When he does, what he says is well worth listening to. They are normally very wise words … you know, it is sort of like having a father figure in the room which is great, particularly for the younger riders.

When things are not going smoothly for them Jeff is always there with a word of advice. Those who have listened to him would have reaped the rewards from it. He is very approachable too which makes it easier for the young riders when they do need his help.

Jeff really has this calming nature about him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him blow up. He really is just such a nice guy.


Jeff is certainly not a one-dimensional rider. Anything from younger horses to older horses … forward in the field, back in the field … he is an all-round jockey.

You are just not going to be able to be at the top of your game as long as he has, riding all around the world for forty odd years or however long he has been riding, if you are not an allrounder.

You have got to have the whole package if are going to reach the top and stay there.

If you sit down and watch Jeff over a fair period of time … which we have had the opportunity to do now … you will understand just how good he is.

Not that it was a cakewalk for him when he first came to Australia. He didn’t come here and just go bang and hit the ground running, but he ended up showing them how good he is. Those who were openly critical … well, he made them eat their words.

I think the Australian punters and trainers took a fair time to warm to Jeff’s style … the South African style.

If you slow it down and watch the bounce action in the saddle … you see Sean Cormack doing it and Robbie Fradd doing it a bit … you’ll see that Jeff just does it the best. If you watch carefully, Jeff is helping the horse and they just stretch out for him.

I’ve even seen a few guys trying that style and giving it away very quickly. To do it properly, it is an art-form and Jeff has mastered it. Not only has he mastered it but he mastered it a long time ago and it has worked for him for a long time.

You see horses that you think are gone and they just find for him. It is quite incredible.

I know trying to get past him is certainly not the easiest thing to do.


Jeff’s response to the well documented health setback he had personifies the type of person he is.

Ninety nine percent of people at that time would have stepped back. They would have said I’ve got nothing left to prove and hung up the boots then … but his love of the game, his determination and focus saw him comeback from that and ride better than ever.

That just shows the steel in his character.

It was something he obviously felt he needed to do but it wasn’t merely, ‘I want to carry on riding’. It was, ‘I want to get back to the top’ … and he did just that!

I saw him fall at Doomben a couple of years ago. It was turning for home or just into the straight and it looked quite nasty. A younger fellow would probably have been lying there for half an hour feeling sorry for himself … but Jeff got up and nearly beat some of the horses home.

People were just amazed to see him walk back in. That showed how tough he is. He has a ‘get up and get on with it’ attitude.


What you see is what you get with Jeff. For the want of a better word there is no bullshit with him.

He is straight down the line.

He is just a pleasure to be around. He was a pleasure to ride with and a pleasure to talk to.

I wish him and his family everything of the best.

Jeff. It has been an honour.

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How many times have we seen this. About 5500 times. Jeff Lloyd brings another winner back to scale
How many times have we seen this. About 5500 times. Jeff Lloyd brings another winner back to scale
The family man ...
The family man ...
… good one dad!!
… good one dad!!
Surrounded by happy punters

Photos: Graham Potter
Surrounded by happy punters

Photos: Graham Potter
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