Elvis “Ricky” Thurgood passed away peacefully overnight at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne at the age of 62. It has been around 41 years since the catastrophic car accident at Caulfield Stadium at the Easter Cup in 1980.
Ricky was born in Sri Lanka in November 1958. His parents Noel and Doris Thurgood brought him, his brother Derek and his sister Debbie to Australia in 1969. Ricky was ten years old at the time.
He went to high school at Caulfield High School next to Caulfield Racecourse, which also inspired his interest in becoming a jockey. One of Ricky’s teachers gave him the necessary encouragement and he began his hockey apprenticeship. His boss is the legendary Caulfield trainer Angus Amanasco.
Ricky’s first career was at Flemington in 1976, when he was 17 years old. In the same year, on April 3, Ricky rode a horse named “World Wonder” at Caulfield and rode his first championship.
Four years later, in 1980, Ricky won 58 professional championships in 533 games, obviously he loved his career as a jockey. Then the tragedy happened. Ricky rode the Taras Regent in the Easter Cup. On the way home, the horse suffered a heart attack and fell to the ground.
The Alfred Hospital doctor told his family that Ricky was not expected to survive that night. In the next few days, weeks or months, he is not expected to survive. But displaying the most extraordinary spirit and courage, and based on the incredible love, care and conviction given to her by her parents and his family, Ricky not only survived, but also thrived. For the past 41 years, he spent at the Caulfield home. .
Ricky’s injuries included the most severe traumatic brain injury, as well as extreme and multiple physical defects, causing him to require 24-hour care to meet his every need.
Ricky’s death was a very sad time for the Thurgood family, but they asked to express their sincere appreciation to the thousands of people who have played a role in Ricky’s unique life journey over the past 41 years. They want to thank all the people and organizations in the Racing family and the community at large for giving Ricky this level of respect, support and love.
Ricky’s parents Noel and Doris, brother Derek and sister Debbie, and their immediate family Brian, Wendy, Andrew, Kellie, and Vanessa:
“As Ricky’s loving parents and family, the last 41 years have not been what we expected. Our blessing is that we have been able to care for Ricky at home. We love him more than anything else, and his departure has broken our hearts. .