Best-selling British crime writer and former jockey Dick Francis has died at the age of 89.
With over 40 novels to his name which were translated into 20 different languages, Francis drew on his experience as a successful steeplechase rider for most of his plots.
In 2000, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth – whose mother was among his many readers – honoured Francis with a CBE.
Although he rode more than 350 winners and was champion jockey before injury forced him to take to writing, he will be best remembered in racing circles for riding the Queen Mother’s horse in the 1956 Grand National. Alas for Francis, success eluded him when, despite being in the lead, Devon Loch inexplicably belly-flopped close to the finishing line.