Uncle Darby McCarthy

Richard "Darby" McCarthy was born in Cunnamulla and lived in the sandhills camp on the outskirts with his mother and many siblings.

He is a proud descendant of the Mithika people.

Richard had a carefree attitude that saw him leave school at the age of nine and start work at Yakara Station. This is where his passion for horses developed.

Richard was a regular in the pony yard and he became involved in riding wild calves and brumbies. He had natural skills that were as good as the older men that worked on the station.

It was at a Flying Doctors race meeting in Thargomindah where Richard had won his first race and was giving the nickname "Darby" after Darby Munro one of Australia's well known jockey's.

It was the Doomben crowds in Brisbane that witnessed his first city win and as dux of the apprentice school run by the Queensland Turf Club, Darby was presented with a saddle by the then Governor of Queensland, Sir Henry Abel Smith.

With wins and appearances in Brisbane and Sydney, Darby had developed great relationships with horses such as Alspick, Gay Gauntlet and many more. Darby's career has seen him ride in places such as Sydney, France, Ireland and Germany; however it was Brisbane where he shone winning three Stradbroke Handicaps.

Over the years Darby has influenced a lot of Indigenous sporting stars.

"I learnt some precious lessons from Darby who taught me in his own charismatic and crazy way what it takes to be a real contender, to rise above everything and everyone else to be your very best. I will forever be thankful," is what Cathy Freeman had said in his biography Against All Odds.

Due to family commitments Darby had to leave his profession and these days he is a full time carer for his wife.

Darby is well known as of one of Australia's best jockeys from 1950 to 1960.

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