Willie Carson

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Willie Carson is a former jockey and a legend in the world of horse racing.

Born on November 16, 1942, in Stirling, Scotland, Carson had an illustrious career that spanned over 25 years. He rode over 3,000 winners and won the British flat racing Champion Jockey title five times.

In this article, we will delve into Willie Carson’s life, career, achievements, and legacy.

Here are some of his biggest wins:

  • Epsom Derby (1982) – Carson rode Greville Starkey to victory in the Epsom Derby, one of the most prestigious races in the world. It was his first and only win in the race.
  • Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (1983) – Carson rode the filly All Along to victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s most prestigious horse race. It was the first time an American-bred horse had won the race.
  • Oaks (1989) – Carson rode Snow Bride to victory in the Oaks, one of the most prestigious races for fillies in the world.
  • 1,000 Guineas (1991) – Carson rode Shadayid to victory in the 1,000 Guineas, another prestigious race for fillies.
  • St Leger (1994) – Carson rode Moonax to victory in the St Leger, the oldest of the five classic races in the United Kingdom.

Early Life

Willie Carson’s father was a farmer, and as a child, he had little interest in horses. However, at the age of 12, he began working in a racing stable in his hometown of Stirling. He started as a stable boy and then progressed to become a jockey. In 1962, he moved to England to pursue a career in horse racing.


Willie Carson had a successful career that spanned over two and a half decades. He rode for some of the biggest names in horse racing, including Vincent O’Brien and Henry Cecil. He was known for his tactical skill, and he had an ability to read the race and position his horse in the best possible way to win.

One of his most famous rides came in the 1982 Epsom Derby, where he rode the Henry Cecil-trained horse, Greville Starkey. Carson rode a superb race, positioning Greville Starkey perfectly to win by a neck.

Another famous victory for Carson came in the 1983 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, where he rode the filly, All Along, to victory. All Along was trained by Patrick Biancone, and Carson rode her to a famous victory, beating some of the best horses in Europe.

Carson’s other notable victories include the 1989 Oaks on Snow Bride, the 1991 1,000 Guineas on Shadayid, and the 1994 St Leger on Moonax.


Willie Carson retired from racing in 1996 after a career that spanned over 25 years. He went on to become a successful racehorse trainer and pundit. He was also awarded an OBE in 1998 for his services to horse racing.


Willie Carson is considered one of the greatest jockeys of all time. He was known for his tactical skill, and his ability to read a race was second to none. He was also known for his professionalism, and he always put the welfare of the horse first.

Carson’s legacy is not only in his achievements on the track but also in his work off it. He has worked tirelessly to promote horse racing, and he has been an ambassador for the sport for many years. He has also been involved in various charities, including the Willow Foundation, which provides special days for seriously ill young adults.


In conclusion, Willie Carson is one of the greatest jockeys of all time. His career spanned over two and a half decades, and he won over 3,000 races. He won numerous high-profile races, including the Epsom Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He retired in 1996 and went on to become a successful trainer and pundit. He is a true ambassador for the sport of horse racing, and his legacy will live on for many years to come.

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