07/05/2006 12:00AM

Quinn, British rider, retires


Richard Quinn, long regarded as Britain's leading "lightweight" rider for his ability to make 110 pounds, announced his retirement from the saddle on Wednesday. The 27-year veteran, who appeared in form lines as T R Quinn as his first name is Thomas, hangs up his tack at the age of 44.

Quinn, who rode his first winner at Kempton Park in 1981, made his last ride a winning one when he partnered Young Mick to take the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot on June 23. Quinn was champion apprentice in Britain in 1984 and finished second in the overall jockeys' standings there in 1996 and 2000.

A native of Scotland, Quinn rode first string for Paul Cole for 17 years, during which time he was victorious aboard Snurge in the St. Leger Stakes, Culture Vulture in the French 1000 Guineas, Knight's Baroness in the Irish Oaks, and both Strategic Choice and Ibn Bey in the Irish St. Leger. He is best remembered in America for his second-place finish aboard Ibn Bey in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Classic behind Unbridled. More recently he formed a partnership with Henry Cecil, for whom he was victorious aboard Love Divine in the English Oaks and Beat Hollow in the Grand Prix de Paris.

Weight was never a problem for Quinn, whose ability do 110 pounds made him popular with trainers whose horses were lightly weighted in the handicaps that make up the meat and potatoes of British racing. Having received a suspension during this year's Royal Ascot meet, Quinn went on vacation, during which time he decided to call it quits.