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Death Of Legendary Jockey Lester Piggott, Aged 86.

Jockey Lester Piggott. R.I.P.

Legendary jockey Mr Lester Piggott, sadly passed away today aged 86, while in hospital in Switzerland, following a recurrence of a previous heart problem. Mr Piggott had emigrated to Switzerland in 2012, where he had continued to reside in rented accommodation with his mistress Lady Barbara FitzGerald, latter more than 20 years his junior.

Born on November 5th, 1935 in Wantage, Berkshire, England; Mr Piggott is regarded as one of the greatest flat racing jockeys, and the finest of his generation.
Mr Piggott, who won the Derby nine times, began racing horses from his father’s stable when he was ten years old winning his first race in 1948, at the aged of twelve, on a horse called ‘The Chase’, at Haydock Park racecourse in Merseyside, North West England. His final victory was on the same course in 1994, a few weeks before his 59th birthday. He retired in 1995.

Believed to be one of his last visits to Co. Tipperary; on Thursday May 23rd, 2013, Mr Lester Piggott, accompanied by his daughter, RTE television presenter Tracy Piggott, was the guest of honour at the official launch of the newly redeveloped Tipperary Racecourse, at Ballykisteen, Limerick Junction, Co. Tipperary.

Tall for a jockey at 5 feet 8 inches, and known as “The Long Fellow”, Mr Piggott kept himself thirty pounds (14kg) under his natural weight to remain competitive. During a career lasting almost 50 years in all, he rode 4,493 winners and was crowned champion jockey 11 times between 1960 and 1982, and last year was inducted into the British Champions Series Hall of Fame.

In a low point in his career, he served 366 days of a three-year prison sentence handed down in 1987 for tax evasion and was stripped of his Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Piggott married Susan Armstrong, the daughter of trainer Sam Armstrong, in 1961 before moving to Newmarket, Suffolk. The couple would later separate, but remained married. They had two daughters, Maureen, married to Derby-winning trainer William Haggas and Tracy, latter a sports presenter on Irish television station RTÉ. He also had a son, Jamie, from his relationship with personal assistant Anna Ludlow.

In 2014 his Eve Lodge Stables training yard and complex, (which included four semi-detached, two-bedroomed bungalows) which could then house up to 100 horses, was put on the market for £1.25 million.

In ár gcroíthe go deo.

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