Three generations of accomplished and impressive racehorse training.
John’s grandfather was stud groom to the late Lord Derby at Woodland stud in Newmarket for 32 years. During this time he looked after notable stallions like HYPERION; RIBOT and ALYCIDON. Before becoming stud groom to the late Lord Howard de Walden at Plantation Stud.
John’s father was apprentice to (the late) George Colling and then (the late) Jack Watts at Stanley House Stables, Newmarket. At 19 he became a work rider on the east coast circuit USA. He and went on to become assistant trainer to Elizabeth Arden and A.J. Bodero gaining substantial experience in on-track training.
Michael returned to the UK in 1964, as travelling head lad and then Assistant Trainer for Bernard van Cutsem at Stanley House Stables, now the residence for Goldophin UK. Following the death of Van Cutsem in 1975 Michael took out his own licence in 1976, and for the year rented a yard at Hurworth House Stable in Newmarket. The following year he purchased stables at Cadland House, which is still the family home, and where he continued to train until he retired in 2005.
Notable horses trained by John’s father include Katie’s (Irish 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot), Royal Heroine (Princess Margaret group 3 at Ascot in 1982), Osric (Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park), Motivator (The 1986 Coral Golden Hurdle Final at the Cheltenham Festival, and incidentally favourite, winning by 6 lengths) and Sweetness Herself (the Irish Cesarewitch, the only English trained horse to ever win this race).
John Ryan started his riding career with an amateur license and represented the British Amateur Association throughout Europe as a flat jockey, with wins in France, Belgium, Germany, Holland and the UK. John then obtained his apprentice flat horse racing licence. He started his jump career as conditional jockey for the famous racehorse trainer, Stan Mellor. He then obtained his full National Hunt licence notching up a total of 174 wins.
John Ryan made the natural transition to begin training racehorses in 1997, firstly assisting Yogi Breisner (who made his mark in the racing world by lecturing on jumping at the British Racing School in Newmarket and his talent for teaching horses to jump is second to none). John was then assistant trainer to Philip Mitchell in Epsom, became assistant trainer to his father and further consolidated this experience as an assistant to J. Poulton. Where he trained 6 winners in his first season, followed by another 20 in the next season, and over 30 other placed horses.
John obtained his trainer’s licence in October 2005 and went on to set up John Ryan Racing, now based at the historic Cadland Stables. During 2008/9 John Ryan Racing operated out of Sackville House Stables, another historic yard located close to Cadland Stables. John starts the 2010 season, owning and training from Cadland Stables.