Doncaster News and Features: Famous Doncastrians: Flying Childers
Around 1714, Colonel Leonard Childers of Cantley Hall, bred a famous racehorse called Flying Childers (and sometimes Bay Childers and Devonshire Childers). It was sired by Leeds-based Richard Darley's Arabian, imported from Aleppo, Syria around 1704 and Childer's mare Betty Leedes.
Evidently, he never actually trained the horse, nor was he aware of the qualities it possessed. Before the horse gained a reputation, it was employed on the mundane task of carrying the letter bag between Cantley and Doncaster.
However around 1719 the horse was sent to Newmarket blood stock sales and was purchased by the Duke of Devonshire.
Then after some training Flying Childers came to the races at the age of six, competing in 1721 in three races at Newmarket, winning all of them, in some style. The won twice in 1722 and twice again in 1723.
The Duke of Devonshire was once offered the horse's weight in gold crowns, which was refused! He retired unbeaten and untested staying at Devonshire's famous stud at the great estate of Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, and was used there as a private stallion. He died there at age 26 in 1741.