John A. Shirreffs

John Shirreffs has been around horses all of his life–riding and showing horses since he was a young boy. Born in Kansas, his family moved shortly thereafter to the East Coast living in New Hampshire on the family farm and then Long Island, New York.

His love for the horse began when he was a child…and it has only blossomed with time. His primary philosophy is that the THOROUGHBRED RACE HORSE is a creation of strength and beauty and must be treasured at all times.

His post college and service days were spent at Loma Rica Ranch in Northern California with the man he considers to be his mentor, Henry Freitas. Per John, “Henry was a very practical horseman…and I am blessed to have spent the time with him that I did.” John was fortunate to experience all stages of horse development with Henry: monitoring mares, stallions, yearlings–to break and train, and racing.

In the mid 1990’s, John was at the racetrack and became the private trainer for Marshall Naify’s 505 FARM for several years. Upon Mr. Naify’s passing, John became a public trainer.

The last 10 years have been amazing. There have been so many wonderful horses who have made each day special: Giacomo, Tiago, Manistique, Hollywood Story, After Market, Zardana, Life is Sweet and Zenyatta to name a few. John has always felt it was important to help a horse to become significant…to make history. The 2005 Kentucky Derby victory with GIACOMO certainly did this. Then to win Breeders’ Cup races with Life Is Sweet and Zenyatta has been a dream come true.

John’s hobbies include anything to do with horses, following sports, and photography. He feels he has some of the best subjects in the world to photograph: THE HORSES HE TRAINS AND SO ADMIRES.

2009 Breeders Cup. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)