(1944 - 2020) | Inducted in 2021
Image: Mike McQuillan's Classic Photographs/Erin McQuillan
Richard Laurence McCarthy OAM, universally known as “Darby”, was a champion jockey and Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous rider. In a career spanning three decades, he won hundreds of races including three Stradbroke Cups, the Brisbane Cup, the Doomben 10,000 and – on the one day - the 1969 Australian Jockey Club Derby and Epsom Handicap double.
Born in Cunnamulla, Queensland, McCarthy rode at outback meetings from an early age before competing at the highest level in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and internationally. Racegoers admired his horsemanship, courage and flair. He stood up for what he believed in, and his 1976 campaign against a harsh riding suspension led to the Victorian government’s creation of the Racing Appeals Tribunal. A mentor for Indigenous athletes, in 2004 McCarthy was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to racing.