Irish Olympic rider Jonty Evan (45), who is based near Cheltenham, last competed at Badminton in 2007. He was a member of the Irish team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, gaining 9th place with Badminton entry Cooley Rorke’s Drift, the highest placed of the Irish team.
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) and outside of eventing enjoys sport especially watching Rugby.
Jonty is married to Jane who runs the yard and couple has two children Amelia and Charlie.
Cooley Rorke’s Drift, owned by Fiona Elliott and rider, is an 11-year-old ISH gelding. Bred by William McCarrison, he is by the Irish-based Holsteiner and showjumper Courage II (also the sire of Badminton entry 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 owner as a five-year-old; the ride passed to Jonty the following year when she was pregnant.Badminton will be the horse’s first four-star.
Cooley Rorkes Drift
16.1hh , bay , gelding
Sire Courage II
Dam Doon-a-ree Lass (Rachelle Comet)
Breeder Mr William McCarrison
Fiona Elliott, Radway, Warwicks.