Jonty was born in Burton-on-Trent and was four-years-old when he moved to the Crafnant valley near Trefriw in NorthWales where he learnt Welsh in school and enjoyed most sports but the joy in his world was horses.
The spark was a boyhood trip to the Badminton Horse Trials where he was smitten by the adrenaline and excitement of the cross-country. He grew-up in the era of David Foster and Ian Stark and Ginny Leng and watching them at Badminton was something he aspired to.
His apprenticeship started during school holidays with Tuffy Tilley, a wily teacher and specialist of the craft. He moved from Tilley's to the Hallam's in Merseyside and the Cleggs in Yorkshire, where he worked a lot with Chris Mcgrann outside Harrogate. He learned most from his time with Andrew Nicholson, the eventing superstar from New Zealand, who inspired him to go it alone.
From a yard in the Cotswolds he started out with just one horse, an ex-racehorse. In September 2003, five years after declaring for Ireland, he was selected for the European Championships at Punchestown on a team that included Sherelle Duke and Austin O'Connor. Two years later in his second major championship he was 40th at the Europeans and 29th on his first appearance at Badminton
Then in July 2011 Jonty met a horse. He was driving home from an event when he came to the rescue of a broken-down horse box on the Fosse Way in Gloucestershire. He offered to take the stranded horse, a young bay gelding to his yard and that horse never left!. The geldings names was Cooley Rorkes Drift (Art).
Art’s then owner, Fiona Elliott, asked Jonty to keep the horse for a while and it was obvious to him from the start that the horse had potential. He had a fantastic walk and a fantastic canter and consequently a fantastic jump but the thing that really stood out was his brain.
By the summer of 2015 Art started to shine with an 8th in his first three-star event at Tattersalls, a brilliant 3rd at Blenheim, and a great performance in front of 60,000 people at Boekolo in Holland, where he helped the Irish team to their first Nations Cup victory and where he qualified for the Rio Olympics.
Art and Jonty made headlines in Rio, they were one of only three combinations to jump triple clear (clear in all jumping phases). Lifting the Irish team to 5th before eventually finishing 9th individually. The following year an outstanding performance at Badminton saw them finish in 20th place.
had taken Jonty to the pinnacle of the eventing world and all eyes were on Art. Almost inevitably, by the summer of 2017 his owner was offered a large sum of money to sell and withyoung children it was understandably a right decision for her and her family. But Jonty was not going to let the horse go.
In July 2017 he launched the crowd-funding campaign and on-line auction to raise money to buy Art. In August, the fund reached its target of £500,000 and his group of ‘owners’ (numbering 6,800) is known as Art’s Amazing Family. Eight months later the pair won the Belton International Horse Trials. It was Jonty's first international win.
And then, in June 2018, at Tattersalls International Horse Trials, While leading the class, the final trial for the World Equestrian Games, a fall three fences from home, left Jonty in a coma for nearly 7 weeks. Despite an initial poor prognosis, he regained consciousness but his injuries meant he had to learn to walk and talk again.
He spent the first three months in hospital and then, with the support of the David Foster Injured Riders Fund, moved to the expert rehabilitation centre, Oaksey House in Lambourn. By December 2018, just four months after regaining consciousness, Jonty was back on a horse again and by July 2019 he was back competing, teaching and holding training clinics around the Uk and Ireland.
Jonty is now in the process of setting up in a new yard from which he intends to base the next stage of his career. In addition, he is using his experiences to help others through his motivational speaking engagements, something he is really enjoying. Jonty is experienced in equestrian media and commentary; having hosted the celebrity talk area at Burghley for many years.
JJonty has trained extensively with Gareth Hughes and Ros Morgan and is currently working with Jo Lees for flatwork and Grant Wilson for the jumping. Outside of eventing he enjoys sport especially watching Rugby. He has two children Amelia and Charlie.
Horses Jonty has ridden/produced in the past, exceptional horses, all of whom Jonty either helped source or did source, a clear indication that the kind of horse Jonty looks for goes on to be very successful.
Multi Medalled sensation, Over To You ridden by Jeanette Brakewell
Very successful, Woodside Ashby ridden by Bettina Hoy
Gambesie Exciting Advanced Prospect now ridden by Jesse Campbell
Ringwood LB Exciting Advanced Prospect now ridden by Susie Berry
John the Bull Exciting Advanced Prospect now ridden by Susie Berry
Monbeg by Design Exciting Advanced prospect now ridden by Susie Berry
Cooley Lafitte Exciting intermediate prospect now ridden by Jesse Campbell