Former Jockey and National Hunt horse trainer, Paul Nicholls is regarded as the leading trainer of his generation. During his career he’s racked up 2000 wins including the 2012 Grand National with Neptune Collonges, four Cheltenham Gold Cups and was named the British jump racing Champion Trainer ten times between 2005 and 2016. In the 2007 – 08 season he had 155 winners alone.
Born in Gloucestershire, Nicholls left school age 16 to work at the nearby point-to-point yard. He started his career as a stable jockey for David Barrons in 1986.
As a rider, Nicholls and Barrons experienced huge success including back-to-back wins at the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in 1986 and 1987. During his seven-year career Nicholls had 133 wins including in the Welsh Grand National. He retired in 1989, after being kicked by a horse during pre-season training and breaking his leg.
Nicholls took out his trainer’s license in 1991, serving a two-year apprenticeship as assistant to Barons, before starting his own training stable at Manor Farm in Ditcheat, Somerset.
He enjoyed a fruitful partnership with jockey Ruby Walsh. Together achieving five wins in the King George VI Chase with Kauto Star, The Queen Mother Championship Chase with Azertyuiop in 2004 and the 2007 and 2009 Cheltenham Gold Cup again with Kauto Star.
One of Nicholls’ career highlights came in the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup where he had a 1-2-3 with Denman, Kauto Star and Neptune Collonges.
In November 2011 he reached 2000 winners, the fastest National Hunt trainer to do so.