As both jockey and trainer Jonjo O’Neill has reached virtually every height this great sport has to offer, along the way overcoming adversity, including beating cancer.
He has held a dual-purpose licence since 1986 and was based in Penrith for 15 years before partnering up with JP McManus who purchased Jackdaws Castle in 2001 and agreed to let Jonjo rent the magnificent training establishment. The team’s first runner from their new Gloucestershire base came 28 days later in a three-mile novice chase at Stratford. Gladly, it was a winner and he has never looked back.
Jonjo O’Neill is the only person to register a seasonal tally of 100 winners as both a jockey and trainer
In his first full season at Jackdaws Castle, Jonjo propelled himself into fourth place in the trainers’ championship and sent out 114 winners for the first time, where highlights included four winners at Aintree’s Grand National meeting. Securing his position as one of the top race horse trainers.
In the 2006/7 season Jonjo sent out 126 winners, his runners earned well over £1,900,196.00 in prize money for his owners and over the years some magnificent horses have been trained at Jackdaws including Synchronised, Sunnyhillboy, Alfie Sherrin, Albertas Run, Wichita Lineman, Butler’s Cabin, Drombeag and of course, 2010 Grand National winner Don’t Push It.
2010 was an epic year for Jonjo O’Neill and his connections when Don’t Push It won the 2010 Grand National, giving Jonjo, JP McManus and AP McCoy the title – a first for each of them.
He has saddled 27 Grand National runners since his first in 2003 and in 2012 entered Sunnyhillboy who was beaten to second place and despite another go in 2013 unseated his rider and wasn’t raced in the 2014 renewal.
Jonjo O’Neill remains the only person to register a seasonal tally of 100 winners as both a jockey and trainer and additionally, he is the only person to ride and train a winner on the Flat, and over fences and hurdles at Ascot.