Bred by Colonel Leonard Childers in 1715, Childers was by the Darley Arabian out of Betty Leedes. As a yearling he was sold to William, 2nd Duke of Devonshire, whose blue and buff livery are worn by the groom. Although lightly raced, he was unbeaten and was described as 'the fleetest horse that ever ran at Newmarket.' The prefix Flying was later added as his reputation grew.
As such a celebrated champion, Flying Childers was painted by several early 18th Century British sporting artists including John Wootton and James Seymour (J. Egerton, The Paul Mellon Collection, British Sporting and Animal Paintings, London, 1978, p.16, no. 16 and p.45, no. 49, dated 1742). A version of this composition by James Seymour was sold by Sotheby's, London, April 3, 1996, lot 155.
An engraving of Flying Childers was published by John Cheny and Thomas Butler (D. Snelgrove, The Mellon Collection, British Sporting and Animal Prints, London, 1981, p. 161, no. 14).