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Willie Mullins

Born: 5 September 1956

Nationality: Irish

First Winner as Trainer: 1988

Cheltenham Festival Wins: 21

Notable Horses Trained: Florida Pearl, Alexander Banquet, Rule Supreme, Hedgehunter, Cousin Vinny, Mikael D'Haguenet, Cooldine, Quevega, Hurricane Fly, Golden Silver, Boston Bob

Career History

Having been crowned champion amateur jockey six times in his native Ireland winning some notable races including the Aintree Foxhunters, Willie Mullins elected to move into the training ranks as well as riding and he worked as an assistant to his father Paddy and Jim Bolger.

This helped him gain valuable experience and he finally took out his own licence in 1988, whilst still venturing into the saddle occasionally to ride in races.  He immediately found success in the early 1990's bagging big race successes at both Listowel and Punchestown.

It wasn't until 1996 though that Mullins really showed he was a man to watch as he rode his own horse Wither or Which to victory in the Cheltenham Festival's Champion Bumper, a race he would win several times throughout his career. 

It was around this time that Mullins put riding on the back burner and decided to focus solely on training and his success would blossom as the Co. Carlow trainer began to excel with some top horses.

First class chaser Florida Pearl was arguably the best horse in the yard and he was ultra-impressive when winning the Royal & Sun Alliance Chase at the 1998 Cheltenham Festival, whilst Alexander Banquet ridden by a youthful Ruby Walsh would see him regain the Bumper title at Prestbury Park.  Since then Mullins has been a name synonymous with the national hunt flat race and has won it six times in the last 15 years.

Florida Pearl continued to bag Grade One events in the UK & Ireland and the stable star managed to bag four Irish Hennessy wins between 1999 and 2004.

In 2005 Mullins grabbed the biggest race win of his career as he teamed up with Walsh as they saddled the Trevor Hemmings-owned Hedgehunter, who went on to win the Grand National at Aintree. 

With success came more top horses being brough to his Co. Carlow base and Mullins has aided the careers of some top performers in recent years.  He trained Quevega to three successive David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle successes in 2009, 2010 and 2011, whilst he bagged his first Champion Hurdle victory in 2011 with Hurricane Fly.

Now a top performer on both sides of the Irish Sea, Mullins has not only shown he is a top trainer with bumper horses, but has now emerged as one of the leading handlers of all national hunt horses.

Aided by the brilliant Walsh he also utilises the skills of Paul Townend and his son Patrick, who has been gaining experience on his father's inmates to continue the Mullins legacy in the sport.

Other Leading National Hunt Jockeys

Paul Nicholls

Nicky Henderson

Jonjo O'Neill

David Pipe