Darren Beadman was born in Canberra, spending his formative years on the capital’s footy fields and significantly, at local Pony Clubs. It was this background in Pony Clubs that lay the foundation for a most distinguished riding career, one of almost unbroken success since his early days as an apprentice jockey.
Darren’s first Group 1 win came on Inspired in the 1984 Golden Slipper, winning a second Golden Slipper on Guineas in 1997.
In 1990 he won the Melbourne Cup on Kingston Rule in just his third ride in the race, and in 1996 partnered Saintly to win the Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double.
In the 1994-95 season Darren won the Sydney jockeys’ premiership and rode an Australian record 186 winners on all tracks. He again won the premiership in 1995-96, but in 1997 announced that he was retiring from race-riding to enter the Christian ministry. At that point is his career he had 46 Group 1 wins to his credit.
Returning to the saddle in 2000, Darren added a further 33 Group 1s to his total, his partnership with champion Lonhro being the highlight of his renewed career. He gained further Sydney jockeys’ premierships in 2002-03 and 2003-04; 143 wins in 2004-05; 152 wins in 2005-06; and a record breaking 162 wins in 2006-07.
Darren moved to Hong Kong in 2007 as a stable jockey, riding more than 250 winners. In 2012, he suffered significant head injuries from a racetrack fall, forcing his retirement.
At the 2022 Canberra Racing Carnival, the Canberra Racing Club honoured Darren with the introduction of the Darren Beadman Medal for the best performed jockey across both days of the Carnival.