John Mitchell

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John Mitchell was raised along the beaches of Bulli, one hour from Sydney, Australia. Adopted, as he says by “the best parents”, his Mom played tennis with Carol Wilson whose entire family rodeoed. John’s Mom & Dad would take him out to Bob & Carol Wilson’s every Friday after school to ride horses.

After a childhood spent in the saddle he progressed to showing through the ranks in Western Pleasure, English and Cutting. As he met more people in the industry, his passion & talent evolved.

Mitchell began riding horses for Winderadeen, a large quarter horse breeder in New South Wales then moved on to work for well-known cutting trainer Graham Amos.

He came to the United States for the first time at 14 years old and celebrated his 15th birthday here.

John travelled back and forth between Australia and the US for years with AQHA Youth Team, Australian Non-Pro Team and to watch the Futurity. As he got more comfortable here, the goal was to move over permanently.

Then opportunity came knocking when a training position at Slate River Ranch in Virginia became available. Following this, in 1997, John moved to Weatherford, Texas where he began training for owner Glade Knight. He has been in this role for the past 25 years and counting.

John Mitchell rode ‘Janie Wood’, a homebred Slate River mare by Stevie Rey Von, to win the 2021 Metallic Cat NCHA Futurity Open Championship. Her dam, Junie Wood was 2014 NCHA Open Horse of the Year, representing Slate River’s legacy and its stellar breeding program. Glade says “to have the mama that we (John & Glade) rode and have the baby…they grow up and it’s kind of like your family.”

John Mitchell & ‘Janie Wood’ marked a score of 230, the highest ever marked in the history of the event.

Full list of major accomplishments:
https://performancehorsecentral.com/listings/view.phtml/Trainers/117/John-Mitchell

“If you don’t treat the horse like family, he’ll never be what he could be.” Graham Amos which John repeats to this day.

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