Horse racing has seen many intense achievements ever since it began, and the traditional sport requires jockeys that are excellent at what they do. In order to enter championships and to be taken seriously by the horse racing industry, jockeys need to demonstrate a great physical fitness that allows them to control the horse easily and provide the guidance that is needed.

A good jockey will also need to have a great deal of drive and determination to win. Great posture as well as an ability to read the races efficiently are also key qualities that contribute to a successful jockey. Here is a look into someone who achieved an excellent balance of these qualities, and stood out as a champion jockey; Lester Piggott. Check out the latest picks at for more detail.


Early Career

Firstly, Lester Piggott began to gain a reputation as a high achieving jockey when he was a teenager. 1954 was a huge year for the young rider who rode the first winner of The Derby.

Piggott’s efforts did not end there, as he soon became known for his unmatched level of success as a flat rider. During his early career, Piggott was also known for riding over hurdles. He became known for his shy personality, which many found even more intriguing.

Not only was Piggott one of the greatest flat riders of his time from a young age, but his career gained a considerable amount of popularity from individuals from a range of social economic backgrounds. At the time, this was unheard of.

Something which made Piggott stand out amongst other young riders was the fact that he did not enjoy the rock-star type of lifestyle that many of his age mates did. Piggott was born partially deaf and grew up with a slight lisp as a result. Many believe that this made the jockey more of a recluse, and his achievements on the loud track are even more impressive.

This is because Piggott’s followers were influential in challenging the class-based origins of thoroughbred racing. Being able to open up the sport to all the classes also allowed more fans to enjoy the highly entertaining and intense competition during Piggott’s career.

Being one of the tallest jockeys in history also made Piggott stand out. He was able to develop a unique approach to race riding which many others used during later years.


Key Achievements

Another way in which Lester Piggott stands out as a highly impressive jockey is his range of achievements throughout his career. He was named Champion Jockey eleven times in total, after winning a highly impressive selection of thoroughbred races around the world.

Not only that, but Piggott achieved nine Epson Derby victories in total. This was a record at the time for the event, and many named Piggott one of the greatest jockeys of all time as a result. He won 5,300 worldwide events, and maintained an extremely high reputation until his retirement in 1985.

Another highly impressive achievement within this jockey’s career came from a close bond with members of the British royal family. The Queen of England has always been a huge fan of flat racing, and Piggott was honored by riding one of her horses in 1955. Her Royal Highness chose the jockey to represent the Crown and compete at Newmarket in 1955.


Records And Awards

Piggott made the majority of his achievements as a professional jockey in Europe. However, some of his achievements include the Breeder’s Cup Mile, and Washington D.C. International.

Singapore, Italy, Ireland, and Slovakia also saw some highly impressive wins from this jockey. Piggott’s international success made him one of the most well-known jockeys in the world at the peak of his career.

Horse racing is in Piggott’s blood, with generations from the eighteenth century within his family being avid jockeys. However, many have said that Piggott put his own spin on the traditional sport.



Having generated a considerable amount of popularity and public interest around the world, Piggott retired as a professional jockey at the end of the flat season in 1985. However, he returned to the track in 1990 after working as a trainer for several years.

It was during this period that Piggott won the 1995 Black Opal Stakes in Canberra. In addition, the jockey won the Breeders’ Mile just ten days after returning from retirement.

Piggott has widely been recognized for his enormous efforts within the world of horse racing. Some examples of this include being one of the first two entries into the British Champions Series Hall of Fame in 2024. This jockey’s name was also inaugurated in 1990 when the annual jockey awards were renamed ‘The Lesters’.

Piggott was also named as second on the list of the ‘Top 50 jockeys of the 20th century’ by the Racing Post in 1999. In other words, Piggott was one of the most iconic jockeys of his time. He achieved an enormous amount of success throughout his career, and even after his retirement.

In fact, Piggott achieved enormous success during his post-retirement runs. One of these was seen when the icon was seen racing against a young Frankie Dettori. The tension was rife on the track and the two had a very tight competition.



Lester Piggott has been recognized for his achievements throughout his career, from beginning to race as a young jockey to becoming a global sensation. This jockey certainly stood out for his efforts towards the industry as well as his passion and drive on every course.

With a range of awards under his belt, Piggott was chosen to compete on behalf of the Queen in 1955. This is one of the most prestigious things to achieve within any type of thoroughbred racing, and Piggott was especially honored as a result.

Thanks to the incredibly high standard that has been defended by jockeys such as Piggott, it is highly exciting to see who, amongst future generations of jockeys, is likely to become the Lester Piggott of their time.