Oil Painting Epsom Derby 1954 Jockey Lester Piggott No 5 Race Horse Never Say Die
Relive one of the greatest moments in horse racing history with this Oil Painting Epsom Derby 1954 Jockey Lester Piggott No 5 Race Horse Never Say Die. Featuring a stunning recreation of the much-loved jockey, this painting beautifully captures the passion, excitement and drama of the 1954 Derby. Breathe life into your home with this extraordinary piece of art!
- Subject sporting portrait of the known race horse Never Say Die being ridden by Lester Piggott winner of the 1954 Epsom Derby in side profile facing left. Lester is seated holding Never Say Die reigns, the number 5 can be seen on the horse.
- Oil on canvas.
- Unsigned, British school artist.
- Circa late 20th century 1970's.
- Set in original gilt frame.
- Piggott was born in Wantage, Berkshire, 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 from the 1870s ran the Crown Inn in Nantwich for over 30 years. Piggott's grandfather, Ernest Piggott (1878–1967), 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), and owned a racehorse stable at the Old Manor in Letcombe Regis (now in Oxfordshire).
- Piggott began racing horses from his father's stable when he was ten years old and won his first race in 1948, aged twelve, on a horse called The Chase, at Haydock Park. Piggott was known for his quiet demeanour. By his teens a sensation in the racing world, he rode his first winner of The Derby on Never Say Die in 1954, aged eighteen.
- Piggott retired as a jockey at the end of the 1985 flat season and became a trainer. His Eve Lodge stables in Newmarket in Suffolk, housed 97 horses and sent out 34 winners. Piggott resumed his career as a jockey in 1990, at the age of 55, and won the Breeders' Cup Mile on Royal Academy within ten days of his return. He rode another Classic winner, Rodrigo de Triano, in the 1992 2000 Guineas. His last win in Britain was in October 1994 and he officially retired in 1995; his last British ride was in the November Handicap on 5 November 1994, but he rode abroad through the winter of 1994–95, winning the Black Opal Stakes on Zadok in Canberra on 5 March 1995 before deciding not to return for the 1995 British Flat turf season.
- Piggott lived near Newmarket for the entire duration of his career. He later emigrated to Bursinel, Switzerland, where he continued to reside with his partner and family friend Lady Barbara FitzGerald, then the 55-year-old wife of Lord John FitzGerald, though legally he was still married to his wife Susan. In 2004, he published the book Lester's Derbys. Piggott died in hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, on 29 May 2022, at the age of 86.
- Biography of the race horse Never Say Die (1951–1975) was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. Being a chestnut colt with a white blaze and three white feet, bred and raced by the American philanthropist and art collector Robert Sterling Clark. After winning only once from his first nine races, he demonstrated much improved form in the summer of 1954 to win the Derby, becoming the first American-bred colt to win the race in 73 years. Later that year he added a second British Classic, when winning the St. Leger Stakes by a record margin of twelve lengths. He was later retired to a successful stud career. On retirement, Clark, gave him to the British National Stud. He was champion sire in 1962, thanks to Larkspur's Derby victory. He also sired The Oaks and 1,000 Guineas winner Never Too Late and other good winners in Die Hard and Sostenuto, stayers who both won the Ebor Handicap.
- Never say Die was put down in 1975, by when his stock had won 309 races worth more than £400,000 in Great Britain. He is buried in The National Stud's horse cemetery. He stood his entire career at Claiborne Farm, Kentucky, becoming a champion sire in the USA and Europe. Ridden here by the great late Lester Piggott.
- Reference sources famousracehorses, sportinglife & wikipedia.
- Provenance from an auction in the Shires.
- Such a delightful scene to the eye a great conversation piece.
- Highly sought after due to the collectible sporting nature of subject matter such elaborate detail.
- With hanging thread on the back ready for immediate home wall display.
- Incredible conversation piece for your guests.
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- Condition report.
- Offered in fine used condition.
- Front painting surface in good overall order. Having some foxing stains in places. With stretcher lines showing in areas. Set in original gilt frame which has general wear, scuffs, stains & minor losses commensurate with usage & age.
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Dimensions in centimetres of the frame approximate
High (60 cm)
Wide (75 cm)
Depth thickness of frame (4.5 cm)