Davy Jones, Monkees singer and once-aspiring jockey, dies at 66

by | 02.29.2012 | 2:09pm

Davy Jones, frontman for the 1960's pop band The Monkees, died Wednesday at the age of 66.  Jones reportedly had a heart attack.

While music and pop culture aficiandos know plenty about Jones' career, horse racing fans might not realize his connection to the sport.  Before he became a famous singer and actor, Jones actually wanted to be a jockey.  He was taken under wing by British trainer Basil Foster at an early age and the two remained close throughout their lives.  Jones realized his dream of riding in 1996 when he won an amateur jockey's race at Lingfield.  He also once galloped a horse at Churchill Downs.

In a February 17 story about how Jones had been caring for the elderly Foster in recent years, the pair talked about the old days and Foster's encouragement of Jones to pursue his acting career:

'He was always a good rider,' Foster recalls, 'and there is no question he would have made a good jockey.

'But I didn't think he would have the same success that he would have in showbusiness because he was so talented. So I pushed him that way and I'm proud of what he achieved. He's a great lad.'

Jones added: 'He insisted I went, and I just cried. I wanted to be a jockey. But he said “You're going! Come back when you're famous”.'

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