Legendary British jockey Lester Piggott has died at the age of 86, his son-in-law announced on Sunday.
The nine-time Epsom Derby winner had checked into a hospital in Switzerland, where he lived, last weekend. “It is with sadness that we must confirm that Lester died in Switzerland this morning,” announced his son-in-law Williams Haggas.
“I really don’t want to add much more than that at the moment but Maureen (Piggot’s daughter) will make a statement later,” he added.
Piggott, considered the best jockey in the history of the sport, was admitted to intensive care in 2007 due to a heart problem, with a speedy recovery.
Nicknamed ‘The Long Fellow’ due to being unusually tall for a jockey, he had lived near Geneva since 2012.
Statues of Piggott adorn nine racecourses in England and one more was erected a week ago at The Curragh, Ireland’s premier racecourse.
The 11-time British champion scored 16 Irish Classic wins, partly due to his collaboration with trainer Vincent O’Brien.
Piggott rode his first winning horse, The Case, at Haydock in 1948 when he was just 12 years old and his last win came with Palacegate Jack at the same track in 1994, weeks before his 59th birthday. He retired permanently in 1995.
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