Lester Piggott


Biography of Lester Piggott

Lester Keith Piggott (born 5 November 1935) is a retired English professional jockey, popularly known as "The Long Fellow". With 4,493 career wins, including nine Epsom Derby victories, he is one of the most well-known English flat racing jockeys of all time.

Lester Piggott was born in Wantage to a family that could trace its roots as jockeys and trainers back to the 18th century. The Piggotts were a Cheshire farming family who in the 1870s ran the Crown Inn in Nantwich for at least 40 years. Lester's grandfather Ernest (Ernie) Piggott (1878–1967) owned a racehorse stable at The Old Manor in Letcombe Regis and his father (Ernest) Keith Piggott (1904–1993) another at South Bank in Lambourn, where Lester lived until 1954. Ernie Piggott rode three Grand National winners, in 1912, 1918 and 1919 and was married to a sister of the jockeys Mornington Cannon and Kempton Cannon, who both rode winners of the Derby, in 1899 and 1904 respectively. He was also three-times British jump racing Champion Jockey (in 1910, 1913 and 1915). Keith Piggott was a successful National Hunt jockey and trainer, winning the Champion Hurdle as a jockey in 1939 and the Grand National as a trainer in 1963 with Ayala, becoming the British jump racing Champion Trainer of the 1962–63 season. Lester Piggott is the cousin, through his mother Lilian Iris Rickaby, of two other jockeys, Bill and Fred Rickaby. Fred Rickaby was British flat racing Champion Apprentice in 1931 and 1932.

Piggott is married to Susan Armstrong. Her father, Sam Armstrong, and her brother, Robert Armstrong, were both racehorse trainers. They have two daughters, Maureen, an ex-eventer (married to Derby-winning trainer William Haggas) and Tracy (a sports presenter on Irish television station RTÉ). He also has a son, Jamie, from a relationship with Anna Ludlow. His house is named after a famous racehorse from history—Florizel.

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