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Frederick J. Archer

Fred Archer
Occupation Jockey
Birthplace Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Birth date 11 January, 1857
Death date 8 November, 1886
Career wins 2748
Major racing wins, honours & awards
Major racing wins

British Classic Race wins:
Epsom Oaks
(1875, 1878, 1880, 1885)
1,000 Guineas
(1875, 1879)
2,000 Guineas
(1874, 1879, 1883, 1885)
Epsom Derby
(1877, 1880, 1881, 1885, 1886)
St. Leger Stakes
(1877, 1878, 1881, 1882, 1885, 1886)

French Classic Race wins:
Prix du Jockey Club
(1880, 1883)
Grand Prix de Paris
(1882, 1885, 1886)
Racing awards
British flat racing Champion Jockey (1874-1886)
Significant horses
Bend Or, Iroquois, Ormonde

Frederick James "Fred" Archer (January 11, 1857 – November 8, 1886) was an English flat race jockey who was the most successful sportsman in horse racing during the Victorian era. The National Horseracing Museum describes him as "the best all-round jockey that the Turf has ever seen." Not until the arrival of Steve Donoghue and Sir Gordon Richards were his statistics threatened.



Born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Fred was an apprentice to horse trainer Mathew Dawson at the age of 11. He served for him as a stable jockey from 1874 until 1886, winning his first race at the age of 12 at a steeplechase in Bangor-on-Dee. He would marry Dawson's niece, Helen Rose Dawson.

Archer took his sport very seriously and was noted for his ruthlessness. In 1882 he built Falmouth Lodge and Stables (now Pegasus Stables).


Archer was Champion Jockey for 13 consecutive years until 1886, riding 2748 winners from 8084 starts. In 1885 he rode 246 winners, a record that wasn't broken until Gordon Richards' 1933 season. He won the Epsom Derby five times and won a total of 21 classic races.

However, because of his height (5 ft 10in/1.78 m) he had to diet far more than other jockeys. This had an effect on his health, and after suffering from depression following the death of his wife, Helen Rose, Fred committed suicide by shooting himself. He was 29.

Since his death there have been many reported sightings of Archer on a ghostly white horse at the Pegasus Stables.

Classic Race Victories

  • 2,000 Guineas winners - 1874: Atlantic, 1879: Charibert, 1883: Galliard, 1885: Paradox
  • Epsom Oaks winners - 1875: Spinaway, 1878: Jannette, 1880: Wheel of Fortune, 1885: Lonely
  • St. Leger Stakes winners - 1877: Silvio, 1878: Jannette, 1881: Iroquois, 1882: Dutch Oven, 1885: Melton, 1886: Ormonde

See also



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