Willie Carson, former British flat jockey

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  • William Carson, OBE, is a retired flat jockey, born on 16 November 1942 in Stirling, Scotland.

    He is now a successful breeder and owns the Minster House Stud at Ampney Crucis near Cirencester, where he lives with his wife Elaine.

    In 1957 Willie became an apprentice at Captain Gerald Armstrong’s stables at Tupgill, North Yorkshire.

    He rode the first of his 3,828 winners in Britain on Pinker’s Pond in a seven-furlong apprentice handicap at Catterick Bridge Racecourse on 19 July 1962.

    Willy is the fourth most successful jockey in Great Britain having been British Champion Jockey five times (1972, 1973, 1978, 1980 and 1983), won 17 British Classic Races, and passed 100 winners in a season 23 times.

    His best season as a jockey was in 1990 when he rode 187 winners, including riding 6 winners on the card at Newcastle Racecourse in June, one of only four jockeys to complete this feat during the 20th century.

    In 1983 Willie was awarded an OBE for his services to racing.

    At five foot tall and riding at a weight of 7st 10lbs, he was in high demand right up until his retirement in 1996 at the age of 54.

    From 1982 to 1983 Willie joined Bill Beaumont as one of the team captains for A Question of Sport. He now co-presents BBC horse racing coverage with Clare Balding.

    In 2011 Willie took part in the reality series ‘I’m a celebrity…Get me out of here!’

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