Vale Doris Thurgood

Racing Victoria (RV) and the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA) are saddened to learn of this morning’s passing of Doris Thurgood owing to illness.

RV and the VJA wish to extend their condolences to Doris’ husband Noel and surviving children Derek and Debbie on the passing of a truly inspirational lady.

Doris, who was 88, is the mother of the late jockey Elvis ‘Ricky’ Thurgood who passed away in August 2021, some 41 years after he suffered life-changing injuries following a fall in the 1980 Easter Cup at Caulfield.

As a result of the fall, Ricky was left with severe brain and physical injuries that meant he required round-the-clock care throughout the remainder of his life.

Doris and her husband Noel dedicated their lives thereafter to providing 24/7 care for Ricky, supported where possible by RV, the VJA and its members.

Throughout the 40-year period, the Thurgood family remained connected to Victorian racing attending race meetings and National Jockeys Trust’ functions.   

VJA spokesman and long-time family friend Des O’Keeffe said: “On behalf of all at the Victorian Jockeys Association, we express our deepest sympathies and prayers to Doris Thurgood's husband Noel and son Derek and daughter Debbie. 

“Doris was truly one of a kind. Loving, caring, generous, welcoming, inspirational, and fiercely determined in ensuring her late son Ricky lived the best possible life under the most challenging circumstances.

“Rest in peace Doris as you remain in our thoughts and prayers.”

RV Chief Executive, Andrew Jones, said: “On behalf of Racing Victoria, we extend our condolences to the Thurgood family on the news of Doris’ passing.

“Her story is one of immense devotion and love over the past 40 years caring for her son Ricky who was tragically injured pursuing his career as a young jockey.”