Willie Mullins commenced training in 1988 having worked as assistant to both his father, Paddy, and to Jim Bolger. He still rates his father as the biggest influence on his career. Based out of Closutton, Kilkenny, Ireland, his stable yard is home to an average 130 horses throughout the year.
As a trainer, Willie has won just about every major prize in Ireland, most of the big ones in the UK, and a few in France as well for good measure. The Grand National, The King George, the Champion Hurdle (England, Ireland and France in 2011), a couple of Supreme Novices’ Hurdles, seven Hennessy’s, numerous Cheltenham Bumpers and, if you can say Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil (French Champion Hurdle), he has won that three times to date.
Total prize earnings in excess of £10,00,000
His stable jockeys include Ruby Walsh, the seven time Irish NH Champion jockey, and six times top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival and with over 2,000 winners during his career, is one of the most successful jockeys in National Hunt racing. Also included in the team are jockeys Paul Townend, Patrick Mullins and Katie Walsh all of whom contribute greatly to the success of the Mullins yard.
He is consistently one of the best trainers in the Grand National and has been entering horses in the race since 2000, winning it with Hedgehunter in 2005. In 2012 he entered the largest number of horses for any trainer, 12 in total, and ended up with three of them making it to the starting line – On His Own, The Midnight Club and Quiscover Fontaine.
He is trainer to the 2011 Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly, who has 21 of his 26 hurdle starts while placing in an additional four, earning over £1,670,000 in the process and can also lay claim to the success of the the four time Cheltenham Mares’ Hurdle champion, Quevega.
Despite all the success he has had throughout his career, the last five seasons have arguably been the best of Willie Mullins’ training career. His horses have remained remarkably consistent throughout that time and he has enjoyed an abundance of big-race successes. He has been Champion National Hunt trainer for the last seven years and has won the title nine times in all.