John comes from a farming background in Kilkenny, where his family always had a couple of thoroughbreds. Following a career in livestock farming John followed his childhood dream and of working with horses full time.
From a farming family, John was introduced to horses when his father had horses in training with Paddy Mullins. This generated a keen interest in horses and John had horses in training, while farming cattle up to 2002. It was then that he took the plunge to work with horses full time. Working with George, Willie and Tony Mullins brought him closer to his goal of one day training his own string at Court stud.
John got his restricted license in January of 2007 and was so bitten by the bug of training, that he exchanged this for a full license by May that year! His first winner on the track was Shaimaa, who has since gone on to be a great ambassador for the yard winning 6 races so far, with black type now on her page from her most recent victory.
With over 40 winners from his first two years training and 200 placings, the Sharks career has gotten off to a flying start.
‘We are always working hard to build up a quality team of horses. I'm very lucky to have such great people working with me to help make this happen. It was always a dream of mine to train and to actually be able to fulfil the dream is amazing. I love what I do and can't wait to get to the yard everyday.
But we won't just train anything. I f I think a horse isn't going to make it and give my owners a chance of getting into the winners enclosure, I like to let them know sooner rather than later.
While the horses always come first, I am in training so that my owners can enjoy the sport and at least have a fighting chance with their horses.
It's a tough sport but also a very rewarding one when all the planning and hard work pays off and a horse crosses the line with his head in front.”
John Hanlon - Click here to contact me