Donald McCain Jnr (Cholmondeley, Cheshire)
Donald is the son of Ginger McCain, trainer of the legendary Red Rum, the only horse to win the John Smith’s Grand National three times (1973, 1974 and 1977) and Amberleigh House, the 2004 victor, before winning the Grand National himself, with Ballabriggs in 2011.
Donald’s yard has gone from strength to strength and has since established himself as the North’s leading trainer since taking the reins from his father in 2006. The number of quality horses in the yard has grown significantly and is a major player in this format of the sport with an exciting 2018/2019 season on the cards.
Ian Williams (Alvechurch, Worcestershire)
Initially, Ian was not drawn to follow his father, Billy, into training, but, a year at college studying Business & Accountancy persuaded him that horses weren’t too bad after all.
At 18, Ian went to Lambourn to join Jenny Pitman as Assistant Trainer. In the early 90’s, Ian spent 6 months with Martin Pipe at Pond House before joining Francois Doumen at Chantilly in France. In 1997, Ian returned to Britain to begin his own journey as a trainer and has gone from strength to strength.
When Brasted won at Chelmsford on 15th October 2015, Ian completed a full set of saddling a winner at every racecourse in the UK, which is a unique achievement in modern training!
Jonjo O’Neill (Cheltenham, Gloucestershire)
Jonjo O’Neill began his career as a trainer in 1986, the same year he was also diagnosed with cancer. With trademark determination, he battled and overcame Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Based at Penrith for 15 years, he moved to Jackdaws Castle, near Cheltenham, in 2001, and has trained there since.
He remains the only person to register a seasonal tally of 100 winners as both a jockey and trainer. Additionally, he is the only person to ride and train a winner on the Flat, and over fences and hurdles at Ascot. He has trained winners of the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, and Grand National at Aintree, being Don’t Push It and Synchronized, respectively
Mick Appleby (Oakham, Leicestershire)
Mick Appleby has been involved with horse racing for nearly 30 years. Over these years, he has gained an enormous amount of experience and knowledge from his work with horses – both in training and horse management.
He mastered his trade with John Manners and Roger Curtis before, in June 2010, Mick went out on his own for the remainder of the season. He gained 3 winners and a few placed horses; showing a profit of £106 to a £1 level stake. The 2011 season went successfully having 20 winners and numerous placed horses.
Throughout 2012 and 2013 Mick and his team continued building on their successes, with winners Louchantanks, The Lockmaster, Stellar Express, Demora and Art Scholar – who landed the November Handicap. Since then Mick has gone from strength to strength.
He had his first Group Winner in Danzeno in the Group 3 Chip Chase at Newcastle. In the same year he achieved 91 winners and was runner-up in the all-weather championships. He was crowned the Champion Trainer at Southwell in 2014 and 2015. 2015 brought Mick 101 winners and many placed horses in exciting racing.
Mark Johnston (Leyburn, Yorkshire)
Mark was born in Scotland in 1959, he became interested in racing through his father’s ownership of horses. At 14 he knew he was destined to become a trainer but decided to study first as a vet and after qualifying worked in veterinary practice for three years.
Mark has trained more than 100 winners for 23 consecutive seasons, achieving success in Classics and numerous Group One races. It’s a fantastic achievement, and the yard continues to show incredible consistency year on year.
Tim Vaughan (Cowbridge, Glamorgan)
Since taking out a full licence and moving to Pant Wilkin Stables on Cheltenham Gold Cup day in 2008, Tim has rapidly scaled the training ranks, training over 700 winners to date. A former Chartered Surveyor, Tim rode 117 winners between the flags and was Champion Welsh point-to-point jockey, but it is as a trainer that he has found his true vocation and in April 2012 he became the youngest current National Hunt trainer to record 100 winners in a season.
Tim has trained Grade 1 winners in the UK and Ireland courtesy of Saint Are in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree and Spirit Of Adjisa in the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, with Beshabar’s Scottish Grand National win another career highlight.
Tim’s attentions since have been focused on increasing the overall quality of horses in the yard and, with the backing of a fantastic group of owners and assisted by an outstanding team of staff, many of whom have been with Tim Vaughan Racing since the start, Tim continues to build upon the results achieved so far, assembling an exciting, talented team of young horses that look set to challenge for the major National Hunt prizes in the years to come.
Alex Hales (Banbury, Oxfordshire)
Alex has been involved in racing since leaving school. Key positions held in formative years include being Head Lad to Charlie Mann, Assistant trainer to Kim Bailey and from 2000 – 2003 was a private trainer for Mr. Andrew Cohen. In July 2003, Alex acquired his dual-purpose training license and since then has achieved much success with both flat and jump horses.
Alex learned his craft from some distinguished teachers and his innovative nature ensures a very forward-thinking approach to training racehorses. A combination of traditional methods with some new style approaches to the management and education of the horses in his charge, underpins the Trafford Bridge operation.
Marjorie Fife (Stillington, Yorkshire)
Alexandra Dunn (Wellington, Somerset)