Canty, Joseph (‘Kidder’) (1894–1971), jockey, was born 20 June 1894 in Kilfrush, Knocklong, Co. Limerick, youngest of eleven children of John Canty, farmer, and Mary Canty (née MacNamara). In 1911 he became an apprentice jockey to Michael Dawson (qv), whose daughter Lena (d. 1968) he later married. Possessing great hands, strength, and an astute riding brain, he quickly blossomed, riding his first winner in 1912. He went on to establish the record – fourteen and a half – for the number of Irish classics won by an Irish born jockey, consisting of five 1,000 Guineas (1939, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1948); three and a half Derbys (1924 (dead heat), 1931, 1939, 1943); three 2,000 Guineas (1934, 1936, 1943); two St Legers (1941, 1944); and one Oaks (1942). Two of these mounts were trained by his brother James: Sea Serpent in the 1,000 Guineas and Mondragon in the Derby, both in 1939. Among the other trainers he regularly rode for were Philly Behan and Hubert Hartigan who described him as ‘the world's best jockey’.
He was Irish champion jockey on seven occasions, and four victories in the Galway Hurdle bear testament to the fact that his talents were not confined to the flat. This combination of disciplines brought him a total of 117 winners in 1925. However, the cumulative effects of weight problems and a severe fall resulted in his career over fences concluding prematurely in 1929. He not only rode winners, but was regarded as an invaluable judge of racing, having an unerring ability to report accurately on all that had gone on around him during the course of a race. He often employed this talent for monetary benefit in the gambling arena, and enjoyed racing for big-betting trainers. His gambling was not confined to the track and was an important element in his flamboyant lifestyle.
Based at the Glebe, Kildare, he had two daughters and a son, Joseph, who became a trainer (a profession at which his father had little success). He died 7 March 1971 at Curragh Drogheda Memorial Hospital, Co. Kildare, leaving an estate of £13,733.