Jonjo O’Neill is a double Jockey’s Champion and National Hunt racehorse trainer.
One of the most successful trainers in the UK and Ireland, he’s still the only person to ride and train a winner on the flat and over fences at Ascot and to have reached 100 wins in a season as a jockey and a trainer.
Born in County Cork, after leaving school he worked as an apprentice to Michael Connolly. Winning over 900 races in his 16-year career, his first came in 1970 with a dead heat on Lana at the Curragh.
Twice named British Champion Jockey, in 1977/78 he broke the record for most winners in a season with 149. He followed that with a with a win in the first of two Cheltenham Gold Cup wins, first on Alverton in 1979. The second came in 1986 on the mare Dawn Run, who was the only horse to have also win the Champion Hurdle.
Later that year, after coming back from serious injuries and battling cancer, O’Neill took out his trainers licence and began working at Skelton Wood End, near Penrith. After 15 years he moved to the JP McManus-owned Jackdaws Castle, Cheltenham. where he struck up a partnership with legendary jockey A.P McCoy, who stormed to victory on Don’t Push in the 2010 Grand National.
Some of his biggest wins as a trainer include Synchronised in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2012, Wichita Lineman in the William Hill Trophy at Cheltenham in 2009 and 2014 Irish Grand National winner, Shutthefrontdoor.