Darby McCarthy (Photo: DATSIP)

May 7, 2020

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio has paid tribute to legendary Australian jockey Darby McCarthy OAM who died on Wednesday aged 76.

Born Richard Laurence McCarthy, he was given the nickname “Darby” – after famous 1930s jockey Darby Munro – while still a young boy.

He won his first race at the age of 10 at an amateur meeting at Thargomindah.

Darby’s racing career included winning the Stradbroke Handicap three times, the 1968 Doomben 10,000; and the Epsom / AJC Derby double in 1969 at Randwick.

In June 2016 he received an Order of Australia Medal for services to the Australian horse racing industry.

Mayor Antonio said Darby had left a lasting-legacy which would never be forgotten.

“On behalf of Council and the wider community, I am deeply saddened to hear of Darby’s passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends in this difficult time,” Mayor Antonio said.

“Darby had a distinguished career, achieving both national and international success.

“He was a trailblazer in the racing industry and was inducted into the Queensland Racing Hall of Fame in 2004.

“His achievements were recently celebrated at the Darby McCarthy Race Day in Toowoomba.

“While he wasn’t born in the Toowoomba Region, he resided here in his later life and made a major imprint while he lived here.

“He was an inspiration to the Indigenous community with many sporting stars across the country often praising him, including former Gold-medallist Cathy Freeman, who resided in his house while she was at boarding school in Toowoomba.

“Darby was an exceptional athlete and an even better human being. It’s truly sad we have lost such a wonderful person.”

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