Our Team
Joe O’Neill

Joe O’Neill

A nephew of Jonjo, Joe joined the team at Jackdaws Castle in October 2010.

Joe, whose father Tom is a greyhound trainer in Castletownroche, is in charge of finances at the stable.

His hobbies include playing football for Winchcombe Town and supporting Newcastle United, who he has followed since being taken to a match against Liverpool by former England footballer Terry McDermott, co-owner of one of Jonjo’s best-ever horses Intersky Falcon.

Joe’s best moment at Jackdaws Castle to date is Synchronised’s success in the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup, which he says was testament to the hard work of all the staff in the yard.

Johnny Kavanagh

Johnny Kavanagh

Johnny started working at Jackdaws Castle in the summer of 2008 after riding more than 300 winners during a 13-year career as a jump jockey.

As Jonjo’s senior Head Lad, his important and varied role includes ensuring the horses in the stable are as healthy as possible, feeding them and checking for illnesses and injuries. He also assists Jonjo in managing a large team of staff.

His achievements as a jockey include riding the Queen Mother’s 400th winner, Nearco Bay at Uttoxeter in 1994.

When he finds the time, Johnny enjoys playing golf.

Hughie

Hughie

Hughie is the Jackdaws Castle Jack Russell and is a very enthusiastic member of our team. He is head of security and keeps everyone in check!

Jonjo Junior

Jonjo Junior

Jonjo Jr has been part of the team at Jackdaws from the very beginning, riding out whenever time allowed, and now school is behind him, he is setting out on what he hopes will prove to be his first steps towards a successful career in Jump racing.

With extensive experience already banked including several years on the Pony Racing circuit, Jonjo will be working full time with his father and riding as an amateur whenever opportunities arise.

Federico Bazan

Federico Bazan

Federico arrived back from his native Argentina in March 2016 and is Head of Maintenance, responsible for the all-important gallops and the estate. He has worked on and off for Jonjo for several years. He is married to Karina, who also works for Jonjo and Jacqui, and they are bringing up their little girl, Lucia, at Jackdaws. Federico is a keen Polo player, previously playing at Cirencester Polo Club. He enjoys all sports and particularly Argentinian Football.
Alan Berry

Alan Berry

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.

Cath Plumstead

Cath Plumstead

Cath joined the team in May 2017. She brings with her a wealth of financial experience and will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the accounts at Jackdaws Castle, working alongside Joe.
Flo Willis

Flo Willis

Flo's first job in a racing stable was working for Victor Dartnall in 2010. She then felt it important to progress to a bigger yard and started at Jackdaws in 2015. "The highlight so far has been leading up More Of That in the Gold Cup and Grand National. That was just amazing!" During the summer of 2017 Flo was promoted to become Head Girl, responsible for the Rider Grooms looking after 40 horses
Bara Ponicka

Bara Ponicka

Bara arrived from the Czech Republic in 2012 and worked for Donald McCain. She moved to Jackdaws in July 2014 as a Rider Groom and was recently made Assistant Head Girl working alongside Johnny Kavanagh. "My favourite horse is Join The Clan, I’ve looked after him for nearly three years and ridden him every day, he’s a lovely horse, very gentle."
Hannah M<span>c</span>Veigh

Hannah McVeigh

Hannah joined Jackdaws in August 2017 as Jonjo’s Racing Secretary after working for 8 years in the events industry. Before that she studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Hannah is responsible for all the administration in the racing office and provides the day to day support for Jonjo and the Team.
Harrison Day

Harrison Day

Harrison started at Jackdaws riding out as a 'Saturday boy' from the age of 13. Once he left school, he joined as a stable lad in July 2015, loving life around the horses and on the gallops. Harrison's career progressed in 2017 when he passed his HGV test and he was appointed Travelling Head Lad, taking full responsibility for horses once they have left the yard to go racing. Johns Spirit was Harrison's favourite horse and now he's been retired, it's Bronco Billy.

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Jackdaws Castle
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