Throughout the last decade Jessica Harrington has become firmly established as one of the top dual purpose trainers in Ireland. However, training is not the first discipline in which Jessica has excelled. Prior to taking out a training permit in 1989 she was renowned as one of the country’s top three day event riders having represented Ireland with credit at European, World and Olympic level.
In the early nineties Jessica swapped a permit for a full training license and high profile results soon followed. Oh So Grumpy recorded a landmark success in the 1994 Galway Hurdle and less than two years later the talented mare Dance Beat picked up the ultra competitive Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle in Leopardstown. From this point onwards Jessica Harrington’s name became a regularly associated with high profile winners and in 1999 Space Trucker provided the yard with its first Cheltenham winner when he captured the Grand Annual Handicap Chase.
That was to be the first of many Cheltenham Festival victories for Jessica, which makes her one of the most successful current Irish trainers at the meeting. The Harrington name will forever be associated with the great chaser Moscow flyer who many regard as one of the finest jumpers to come out of this country in the last 40 years. The Brian Kearney-owned gelding won a host of top flight races including the 2002 Arkle Chase at Cheltenham and the 2003 and 2005 renewals of the Queen Mother Champion chase.
Jezki, after showing promise in National Hunt Flat races won five times as a novice hurdler in the 2012/2013 season, with his victories including the Fishery Lane Hurdle, Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, Future Champions Novice Hurdle and Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle. In the following season he won the WKD Hurdle and the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle before taking the 2014 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse and following up with a win in the Racing Post Champion Hurdle. In the following season he was beaten in his first three races by Hurricane Fly and finished fourth to Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle before winning the Aintree Hurdle over two and a half miles and defeating Hurricane Fly in the World Series Hurdle.