Leighton Buzzard jockey's family relive historic 1924 Grand National win 100 years on

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Robert Trudgill’s family celebrated together

One hundred years after a momentous win at the Grand National, a jockey’s daughter celebrated by watching Saturday’s race with her family around her at her Leighton Buzzard home.

Robert Trudgill was not expected to enter the 1924 race let alone win it. And his proud family gathered with his 91-year-old daughter June Kingman, to watch the original race on You Tube before catching the 2024 race on the telly.

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Mr Trudgill had won the race on Master Robert and American author Francis Murray has been looking into the circumstances.

A triumphant Bob Trudgill with Master Robert at the 1924 Grand National and inset, June KingmanA triumphant Bob Trudgill with Master Robert at the 1924 Grand National and inset, June Kingman
A triumphant Bob Trudgill with Master Robert at the 1924 Grand National and inset, June Kingman

He said Master Robert’s victory is truly the stuff of legend – an unassuming horse whose outstanding qualities as a racing horse were initially well hidden, ridden to perfection at the 1924 Grand National by a jockey with a bad injury.

“[On Grand National day] Master Robert’s regular jockey refused the ride, because of Master Robert’s lameness. No fashionable rider would take the ride.”

He explained that the jockey in question was swiftly replaced by a horse rider who had sustained a serious injury the day before: “Bob Trudgill was a journeyman jockey, unattached to a stable, who was never in position to turn down a ride.

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“The day before the Grand National, in a race at Aintree, Trudgill was thrown from his mount, Charlie Wise, and injured.

“Despite doctor’s orders not to ride, Trudgill would not be denied his opportunity. Bob Trudgill’s Master Robert winning saddle is currently on display at Aintree for all to see.”

One report of the event says Trudgill finished the race with blood leaking from a reopened leg wound and collapsed in the weighing room. He died in 1974 in Leighton Buzzard.

The winning colours and cup have stayed in the family, currently with a nephew of June’s based in France. And while June herself was never a rider, her daughter Janet and a niece have kept up the family tradition. One of her grandsons is also named Robert after the winning horse.

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Son-in-law Geoff Giles said members of the family had gathered in Leighton Buzzard to celebrate the anniversary. He said June, who has lived in Leighton Buzzard since the Second World War, was very proud of her father. “It matters a lot to her,” he said.

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