Johnny Murtagh


Irish jockey, horse racing speaker and trainer Johnny Murtagh was born in County Meath, Ireland in 1970 but began his sporting career as a boxer rather than horse rider. Previously holding the Ireland Under-14 Championship Boxing title Murtagh turned to horse riding after his mother was advised that his small stature, balance, sense of rhythm and courage would make him well suited to the position of jockey.

Immediately taking to riding Johnny Murtagh joined the Racing Academy and Centre for Education after passing a two week trial course; ten months later Murtagh was well on his way to becoming a jockey and horse racing speaker and found himself working under esteemed trainer, sports speaker and veteran horse racer John Oxx; for whom he would later act as stable jockey for a large part of his senior career.

Johnny Murtagh rode his first winning horse, Chicago Style, at Limmerick in 1987 and has been working as a horse racing speaker ever since. Murtagh went on to win many of the major flat races in both the UK and Europe including The Irish Derby, all the Group 1 Races at Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby. As a horse racing speaker Johnny Murtagh has appeared at events across the UK and also boasts wins at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

Bringing great acclaim to Oxx’s stables Murtagh spent almost a decade with the trainer and rode 18 Group One winners for the Oxx’s leading owner, the Aga Khan and in 2000 rode Sinndar to win Europe’s biggest race: the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Whilst working with Oxx Johnny Murtagh frequently worked as an after dinner speaker and appeared regularly on Irish television and radio.

Five time Irish Flat Racing Champion, Murtagh moved on from Oxx’s stables in 2003, joining Coolmore in 2008 where he rode 19 Group 1 winners in his first season, winning a further ten the following year.

Johnny Murtagh retired from racing in 2014 and has gone on to become a trainer and dedicated sports speaker, his prolific and hugely successful career have made him a popular trainer whilst his work as an after dinner speaker continues to draw large crowds both in and outside of Ireland.

To book Johnny Murtagh as the horse-racing speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Johnny is known to cover the following topics:

  • Horse Racing
  • Horse Breeding
  • Sporting Success
  • Training
  • The Irish Derby