Horses have been an integral part of John's life for as long as he can remember. Having started out hunting at a young age from his grandfather’s farm in Ireland he joined Edward O’Grady’s yard as soon as he finished school and became a conditional jockey. John enjoyed several years there before heading across the water in search of further opportunities.
He landed in Malton and joined Jimmy Fitzgerald’s thriving operation in the 80’s before branching out on his own to ride as a freelance jockey. After riding the best part of 200 winners he called it a day in 1990 and ran a livery yard from his base in Settrington. After failing to sell one or two horses he'd been preparing, he took the plunge in to the training ranks. Success was slow to come by initially but with the support of his family and dedication of his team, John has worked his way up and now has around 65 horses split between his Bellwood Cottage and Highfield yards.
John loves training all types of horses be it on the flat or over the jumps, providing they have the ability to get their owners into the winner’s enclosure. Over the last decade any number of winners under both codes bolstered by the likes of Blythe Knight, Countrywide Flame, and then Royal Ascot winners, The Wow Signal and Signora Cabello to name a few have ensured John has been put on the map.
Richard Spencer's first position in racing was with trainer, Peter Bowen in west Wales. He moved to Barry Hills in 2006, and continued as pupil assistant with Charlie Hills. Whilst with Hills, Richard gained valuable experience including travelling horses to run overseas.
At the end of 2012 Richard moved from Lambourn to Newmarket and spent two years as assistant to Michael Bell at Fitzroy House.
Richard joined Rebel Racing at Albert House Stables at the end of 2015 and took up the position of Trainer when his licence was awarded at the end of March 2016.
Richard was an accomplished race rider, having ridden 25 winners in point-to-points. He also rode under rules as an amateur, with notable wins in a Hunter Chase at Ascot in 2014 and the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown in 2012. Richard was placed third in an Amateur Riders Handicap at Doncaster when riding for Her Majesty The Queen.
Richard brings enthusiasm and a vibrant approach to training, and looks forward to training winners for Jolly Boys Racing this season.
Richard's biggest achievement so far came in 2017 with Rajasinghe winning the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot when breaking the track record.
Richard trains from Sefton Lodge, one of the most beautiful training yards in Newmarket with fantastic facilities to house the future stars that are being prepared for the coming year.
Tim Fitzgerald is the son of legendary trainer Jimmy Fitzgerald and is based in Malton, North Yorkshire. Tim has trained some good horses in his career including Inchnadamph who ran in the Cesarewitch on three occasions finishing second, third and fifth. He's also famous for helping Jamie Spencer tie the Jockeys Championship in 2007 by winning the last race of the season.
Tim owns Highfield Gallops in Malton which is used by many trainers in the area.
Christian was born into horses and it wasn’t long before he'd ridden his first winner between-the-flags as a young man. Ever since, he has dedicated his life to horse racing.
Christian’s riding career prospered, riding more than a hundred winners for trainers Paul Nicholls and Evan Williams. He enjoyed some big race success including finishing second on Royal Auclair in the 2005 Grand National and was also lucky enough to partner the great Denman to success on his first two outings for Paul Nicholls.
Having suffered some unlucky and quite serious injuries as a jockey, Christian retired from the saddle to make the natural progression to the training of racehorses. He was employed by one of the National Hunts leading owners, Dai Walters where he spent five years as a trainer, before finally making his dream move back to Ogmore-By-Sea, his family home to embark on his training career alone, launching Christian Williams Racing.
Christian has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience both from high level race riding and riding for a large selection of the most successful trainers in the business including multiple champion trainer Paul Nicholls and Evan Williams. He adopts a very hands on approach and affords every horse in his close knit yard the ultimate attention. Horses thrive in his care and his facilities allow horses the luxury of being turned out in fresh paddocks every day. His location also means horses can be galloped on the beach and through the sand dunes.
He's created a big impression to date with 55 winners from his new base including Potters Corner winner of the 2019 Midlands National and the 2019 Welsh equivalent. The same horse also romped to glory in this year’s ‘virtual’ Grand National!
In 2007 Gordon Elliott become the youngest ever trainer to win the world's most prestigious steeplechase, the Aintree Grand National with Silver Birch. Despite having won the Grand National, Gordon had not at that stage trained a winner on the track back home in Ireland. The first winner he trained in Ireland was Toran Road at Kilbeggan on 5 May 2007.
Although best known for his victories over jumps, Elliott had a major win on the flat in August 2010 when Dirar won The Ebor at York.
His first winner at the Cheltenham Festival as a trainer was Chicago Grey in the National Hunt Chase in 2011. He won the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup for the first time with Don Cossack. In the 2017 Cheltenham Festival he finished as the top trainer for the first time with six wins. At the 2018 Cheltenham Festival he finished as the top trainer this time with eight wins. That equalled a record set by Willie Mullins in 2015.
On 2 April 2018 Gordon won the Irish Grand National for the first time after saddling a record 13 horses. In 2018 and 2019 he also won the Aintree Grand National with the legend Tiger Roll, ridden by Davy Russell, only the sixth repeat winner in the race's history.
Nigel is from a racing family and has trained well over a thousand winners, including two Cheltenham Festival winners, group winners on the flat and many prestigious handicaps.
Nigel was a successful jockey and rode his first winner at 15. By 16 he'd ridden flat, hurdle and chase winners. He rode over two hundred winners, including at Cheltenham and at many of the major meetings.
He started training in 1982 and for a time both trained and rode his own horses, and then decided to concentrate entirely on training.
Nigel’s wife Kim was a very successful jockey who now is a major part of the running of the stables.
NIgel is renowned for his sense of humour and is sure to give great entertainment to Jolly Racing members.
From an early age Olly’s future lay in the racing industry. Originally Olly’s ambitions were in the saddle. He attended Pony Club, hunted and led his Mum’s string, before riding in point-to-points and progressing to riding as an amateur under rules. He rode 30 winners before he inevitably outgrew his breeches!
Once Olly had decided he wanted to a train, he spent a year with Alan King. He then made the move to Ireland, joining Gordon Elliott as Assistant Trainer. Olly spent four seasons with Gordon, tasting success at the highest level. During Olly’s time, Gordon won several Grade 1’s, numerous Festival winners and was all topped off by Don Cossack winning the 2016 Gold Cup.
In 2017, the time came for Olly to take up the reins himself. Three years into his training career, Olly has trained 216 winners, won over £2 million in prize money and is a Grade 1 winning trainer. Not a bad start so far!
At the age of 33, Oliver is a licensed trainer for both flat and national hunt, having trained point to point for 6 seasons and now is in his 3rd season with a full license. Oliver previously gained a vast amount of experience in the racing industry, not least five years employment at Mick Easterby’s yard and a short spell with Sir Mark Prescott.
During his time as a jockey he won the Men’s National Point-to-Point Championship in 2007/8 when he recorded a record 56 winners in points and is a past Amateur Jockey’s Association title holder under rules were he rode a total of 78 winners and 42 in one season.
He retired from race riding on the last day of 2014/15 point to point season at Umberleigh with a winner on his last ride He has had plenty of success in the point to point field including a fantastic treble at Bangor on Dee and getting beat a neck in the Aintree Foxhunters with Cool Friend.