Longden, Johnny

Johnny Longden, jockey (b at Pontefract, Eng 14 Feb 1907). He enjoyed a distinguished career that many regard as one of the finest in THOROUGHBRED RACING history. Longden's family settled near Taber, Alta, when he was 2 years old. While still a teenager, he went to work in the coal mines and spent his weekends racing quarter horses. In 1927 he visited Salt Lake City and managed to ride a horse named Hugo K. Asher in a race, which he won, beginning a career that lasted until his retirement in 1966. During those years, he rode 6032 horses to victory, a record for that time. He was the first North American jockey to ride 4000 winners.

One of Longden's greatest achievements was training and riding Count Fleet, winner of the North American Triple Crown in 1943. In 1950 he rode the Irish-bred Noor to 4 victories over Citation, one of North America's finest thoroughbreds. Longden retired to train horses and has been successful there as well. In 1969 he trained Majestic Prince, the Kentucky Derby winner.