Meet the Team


John Nallen - The Maestro of Minella Racing

John was born and raised at his nearby family-run Hotel Minella in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. His parents Jack and Babs bought the hotel with the proceeds from the sale of a greyhound who won the English Derby and netted them the €5,000 asking price for Minella. For over 60 years the Nallen family have transformed their Georgian purchase into one of the most stunning and popular four-star hotels located at the heart of the world-renowned Tipperary thoroughbred scene. Today, John and his sister, Elizabeth run the hotel with the same hands-on approach their parents taught them. Hotel Minella is a beautiful four-star hotel that remarkably still offers guests that traditional family-run experience for which Ireland became famous for all over the world.

John is married to Dr. Bernadine Rochford and together they have a very special son Jack. Jack was born with special needs and loves nothing more than spending time with his father at the farm and Minella Racing training yard in Lavally just a few kilometres outside Clonmel.

In a recent interview, John shared how wonderful it is to be part of the Rachael Blackmore story as she steered both Minella Indo and Minella Times to victory for Henry De Bromhead in Cheltenham and Aintree respectively. Racheal hails from the nearby village of Killenaule and ironically her parents were married at Hotel Minella on July 6th, 1985. John has been buying all his horse feed from Racheal's father Charles for years and the families go back a long way.

Although, John is very well known and highly respected in the racing game he tends to let his horses do the talking for him. Until recently that is when a video capturing his reaction to Minella Times winning the Aintree Grand National went viral.  
The publicity and exposure were incredible, money couldn't buy the media attention enjoyed by Minella Racing and Hotel Minella in the weeks and months following it with racing fans and visitors from all over the world planning their next trip to Clonmel to visit Minella Racing and enjoy a stay with the Nallen family at Hotel Minella.

Horse Racing is John's passion, it's in his blood and he has been involved in horses all his life. He has a unique talent for spotting a rough diamond and turning it into a star. Of course one needs luck however, John's proven track record shows there's a lot more than luck involved in the success of Minella Racing. He recently commented that his success is down to "good stock, good feed, plenty of time and patience" the reality is there is so much more to it than that and John is the maestro that consistently turns out champion after champion under the Minella prefix for owners and racing fans to enjoy annually.


James 'Corky' Carroll - Assistant Trainer

Corky plays a big role behind the scenes at Minella Racing. He hails from the home of steeplechase racing in Ireland, neighbouring Co. Cork hence the name 'Corky'. In his capacity of Assistant Trainer, he co-ordinates the day to day operations in the yard so that John can focus on what's best for each of the horses. Corky rode for John for years at point-to-points and the season before he retired he enjoyed a career-best of almost 200 winners and he was awarded the Racing Post Point-to-Point Senior Championship of Ireland title for the first time.


Team Minella Racing

We all know there is no 'I' in team and although John and Corky do a fantastic job they couldn't even dream of the success they've enjoyed in recent times if it wasn't for the team at Minella Racing. Heather Walsh, Johnny Barry and John's nephews Conor and Seanie Bowen to mention but a few. This team works extremely hard, they are passionate and dedicated and each one of them deserves all the success the Minella prefix has bestowed on them and more to come their way in the not too distant future.


Join our Team

We are always on the lookout for talented, hard-working and upbeat racing professionals who would like to be part of our team. If you are passionate about all things racing and would like to work in an exciting racing yard riding out and tending to the young horses we rear here at Minella Racing, then send us your details today! 

Current Vacancies:

Full-Time Work Rider Required

  • Must be a competent rider.
  • Yard work also required.
  • Accommodation available.

How to apply;

  • Send your CV to
  • Telephone John on 086 205 2072