The Australian Trainers’ Association Federal Executive are deeply saddened by the passing of highly respected legendary jockey, true legend of the turf and great man, Roy Henry Higgins MBE, affectionately known as 'The Professor'.
In an outstanding career that started in 1953 and spanned 30 years, champion jockey Roy Higgins won more than 2300 races including two Melbourne Cups - Light Fingers (1965) and Red Handed (1967), producing the first two Melbourne Cup winners for Bart Cummings.
He also won the Golden Slipper, Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup to make him one of only seven jockeys to have won the Grand Slam in Australian racing.
Roy’s brilliant career delivered major feature race wins including the Futurity Stakes (8), VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (7), AJC Oaks (6), Craiglee Stakes (5), VRC Oaks (5), Victoria Derby (4), Blue Diamond Stakes (4), Lightning Stakes (4), Melbourne Cup (2), Cox Plate (2), Golden Slipper (2).
He is one of only three Australian jockeys to have ridden in excess of 100 Group 1 winners, having achieved 108 at the highest level.
Having won the Melbourne jockeys’ premierships on a record 11 occasions, Roy also enjoyed great success overseas, winning races in South Africa, France, Hong Kong and Belgium.
Roy Higgins was awarded the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1974 for his services to racing. In 1987, Higgins was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. His deeds in the saddle then earned him the honour of being one of the five inaugural inductees into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.
Roy was a loved husband of 30 years to Genine, a much-loved father and father-in-law to Nicole and Greg, Martine and Andrew and adored grandfather to Hayley and a cherished long-time partner to Suzanne Sarkies.
Our sincerest condolences are extended to Roy’s family and his many friends in racing.