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Dick Francis

Between the world wars came a youthful "Best Boy Rider" who would become much more as the years flowed by. Born in 1920, at Lawrenny, South Wales, this wonderful young horseman won many major horse show awards during this era of his life

As a young man he laid down his saddle and bridle and mounted a different kind of transport, still flying high he served his country in the Royal Air Force for six years at the controls of something with much more than one horsepower. He piloted fighter and bomber aircraft, between 1943 and 1946 he rode the skies with his Spitfire and Lancaster mounts.

As peace once again returned Francis became famous for his abilities as a horseman in the world of British National Hunt racing. 350 races under his belt, this son of a jockey must have been a great source of pride for his father as he was named Champion Jockey in 1953/54 and became the jockey for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother for four seasons 1953/57. He rode eight times in the Grand National Steeplechase and nearly won riding Devon Loch, the Queen Mother's horse in 1956, but as fate would have it his horse had a horrid front page collapse just a few short strides off the finish line. This was both the high point and low point of his career as a jockey, Francis said. Not too long after this a literary agent approached Francis and suggested he do an autobiography.

Francis suffered another serious fall in 1957 and retired from racing as was advised. He wrote his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, being published later in the year. He also wrote six features for the London Sunday Express and remained on as the paper's racing correspondent for 16 more years.

All this writing soon lead to fiction writing and the rest is history. Francis's first novel Dead Cert published in 1962 was the beginning of a winning tradition of popular novels set around the background of jump racing. He also wrote the biography of Lester Piggott, A Jockey's Life and with John Welcome four collections of racing stories. He also penned other short stories, anthologies along with some periodicals.

Francis's books have been tranlated into 30 languages and were best sellers in many countries and his novels have been recorded on audio along with several being done for television. Francis lives in the Caribbean, his wife Mary who helped with research for his books died in September of 2000.
Find available items by: Dick Francis
  • Officer of the Most Noble Order of the British Empire in 1984
  • The British Crime Writers Association Silver Dagger in 1965
  • Gold Dagger in 1980
  • Cartier Diamond Dagger for his life's work in 1990
  • Three Edgar Allen Poe Awards for Best Novel
  • The Mystery Writers of America Grand Master 1996
  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tufts University in 1991

Books by Dick Francis
  • BREAKIN 1985
  • BOLT 1986
  • WHIP HAND 1979
  • COME TO GRIEF 1995

Content provided by: White Horse Books.

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