2002 – Lester and Sir Ivor

2002 - Lester and Sir Ivor by William Newton

Every jockey wants to win the Derby.  Lester Piggott won a record nine; Sir Ivor, who won in 1968, was probably the best.

As a sporting art theme, Lester has drawn the imagination of many artists; I wanted to approach things from a different angle.

Trainer Vincent O’Brien had brought his Epsom runner over a few days early.  On the morning before Derby Day, Lester rode out Sir Ivor on the Epsom Downs.  Inspired by the lonely mood of a photograph taken that morning, I chose to celebrate the pair at exercise.

Sir Ivor was a striking horse to look at and Lester, wearing a waist jacket, jodhpurs and jodhpur boots, was in deep thought – perhaps thinking of what the following day might bring.

Both Lester and his family were consulted throughout the creation of this bronze.  Lester made a thumb print and also signed his name into the base before the study went to the foundry.  I like the fact that Lester’s physical actions are immortalised in this way.

Trophy Gallery