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Frederick Archer (1857-1886), Jockey

Sitter in 12 portraits
Apprenticed to a horse trainer from the age of ten, by twelve Archer was winning races. Four years later he was champion jockey, a title he retained for thirteen consecutive seasons. During his career, he rode almost three thousand winners, including five Derbys and sixteen other classics. Archer's success made him wealthy, and with racing established as a national sport, he became one of the first national sporting stars. However, because he was tall he had to diet far more than other jockeys. This had an effect on his health, and after suffering from depression after the death of his wife, Helen Rose, Archer committed suicide by shooting himself. He was just twenty-nine, and his death sent shock waves around the country.

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