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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

"Frank Wootton" (Image plate from Vanity Fair), c. 1908

Sir Leslie Ward

chromolithograph on paper (sheet: 39.8 cm x 26.6 cm)

Francis (Frank) Wootton (1893-1940), jockey, was the son of a Sydney horse trainer, Dick Wootton, who is said to have been so determined that his two sons would become jockeys that he denied them food. When Frank was nine, his father judged him to be ready to race. In Australia, boys had to be fourteen before they were allowed to ride professionally, so the family moved to South Africa, where there was no minimum age for jockeys. Frank won his first race in 1903 - aged ten - and had won seventeen races by the time he was thirteen. The family proceeded to England, where in 1909 Frank - known as the 'Wonderboy' - became the first Australian to top the jockeys' premiership list. Having served in Palestine and Mesopotamia in the First World War, Frank returned to England to ride in the National Hunt. While his brother thrived as a horse trainer and breeder in England and New South Wales, Frank moved back to Sydney in poor health in 1933. Having been convicted of drunkenness, he died of traumatic epilepsy in Long Bay Gaol.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Ronald A Walker 2009. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Accession number: 2009.107

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Sir Leslie Ward (age 57 in 1908)

Frank Edward Wootton (age 15 in 1908)

Subject professions

Military

Sports and recreation

Donated by

Ronald Walker (23 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward

Vanity fair

Magazine article by Ashleigh Wadman, 2012

Ashleigh Wadman rediscovers the Australian characters represented with a kindly touch by the British portrait artist Leslie Ward for the society magazine Vanity Fair.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.