Fergal O’Brien

Fergal O’Brien Trainer Fergal O'Brien at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse, Bangor-on-Dee.

Fergal O’Brien (born 19 August 1972) is a National Hunt (jump) racehorse trainer based in Gloucestershire.

Fegal was born in Ireland and although his family was not involved with horses – his father was a bus driver and his mother a cook – two of his brothers left Ireland for England to work in horseracing.

Fergal moved to England in 1989 when he was 16 to attend a course at the British Racing School in Newmarket and then went to work at the stables of Tim Forster in Lambourn.

Once he decided against pursuing a career as a jockey, Fergal moved to the stables of National Hunt trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies in Taunton, Gloucestershire where he stayed for 19 years, becoming head lad and assistant trainer.

Fergal set up as a trainer on his own in 2011, firstly at Cilldara Stud near Northleach in Gloucestershire, then back at Naunton, and then in 2019 moved to Ravenswell Farm, near Cheltenham. He holds a combined licence and has trained winners on the Flat, as well as over fences.

Fergal achieved his first Grade One success in 2017 when Poetic Rhythm, ridden by Paddy Brennan, won the Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury. In the 2020-2021 season, Fergal achieved his first century of winners. He finished the season in seventh place in the jump trainers championship.

In October 2021, Fergal went into partnership with fellow Gloucestershire trainer Graeme McPherson to form O’Brien McPherson Racing, with Fergal concentrating on the training side of the operation and McPherson taking care of the business side.

Fergal’s partner is assistant trainer and former jockey Sally Randell. He has two daughters from his marriage to amateur jockey Angelica Nolan.