Alan was bred to ride and be around horses. His father, Frank was Champion Jockey in Ireland ten times and is Racing Manager to JP McManus; his brother Fran is an outstanding Flat jockey, who rode Well Sharp to victory for us at Royal Ascot. Alan started at Jackdaws in 2002 and, as Amateur Jockey, won on Refinement at Punchestown and, even better, on Butler's Cabin in the 2007 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
He has looked after several Festival winners and topped that in 2010 when Don't Push It won the Grand National. Watching the race from Jackdaws, Alan recalls, "When I saw how well he was going with three fences to jump, it really got the old pulse racing. It was an amazing experience."
In recent years, Alan has looked after Slade Barn, the isolation facility with its own gallop where every horse coming into the yard spends some time before moving up to Jackdaws. Alan's responsibilities as a Head Lad now include particular emphasis on one of the three yards of 40 horses.