Irish Olympic rider Jonty Evan (46), who is based near Cheltenham, last competed at Badminton in 2017 finishing in 20th place with Cooley Rorke’s Drift (aka Art), his entry this year. The pair was a member of the Irish team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, gaining 9th place the highest placed of the Irish team.
In July 2017 Jonty launched a crowd-funding campaign and on-line auction to raise money to buy ‘Art’ so he could keep the ride as the owner wished to sell. 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.
Jonty grew up in Gwynedd, Wales. After school he spent six years in working pupil roles to Chris McGann, John Thelwall and Trish Gardiner and was then stable jockey for Andrew Nicholson before moving to Gloucestershire and setting up his own yard.
In 2005 he represented Ireland at the European Championships at Blenheim (Creg Warrior) and in 2015 at Boekelo helped lead the Irish team to their first Nations Cup victory.
Jonty is experienced in equestrian media and commentary; for the last few years he has hosted the celebrity talk area at Burghley. He trains with Ros Morgan (showjumping), Gareth Hughes and Ian Woodhead. Outside of eventing he enjoys sport especially watching Rugby.
Jonty has two children Amelia (14) and Charlie (7).
Cooley Rorke’s Drift is a 12-year-old ISH gelding. Bred by William McCarrison, he is by the Irish-based Holsteiner and showjumper Courage II (also the sire of Badminton entries Duke of Cavan and Ringwood Sky Boy) out of Doon-a-Ree Lass by the thoroughbred Rachelle Comet. He was purchased in Ireland and produced by his first owner as a five-year-old; the following year the ride passed to Jonty who has produced him through the grades since.
Cooley Rorkes Drift
16.1hh , bay , gelding
Dam Doon a re Lass (Rachelle Comet)
Breeder William McCarrison
Jane Moss, St. Peters, Guernsey
Elisabeth Murdoch & Keith Tyson, Burford, Oxon.