Janet E. Elliot

Janet Elliot became the first woman trainer inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2009.

Janet Elliot honored at the Radnor Races (Tod Marks)



1948, County Cork, Ireland







Racing Record


Win %


Janet Elliot became the first woman trainer inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2009.

The daughter of a British Army officer who settled in Ireland, Elliot came to the United States after her plans fell through to accompany an Irish horse show to the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Upon her arrival in America, Elliot took a job with horsewoman Betty Bird. Elliot soon went to work for future Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, whom she stayed with as an assistant for 11 years before going out on her own in 1979.

Through the 1980s, Elliot developed a reputation as an outstanding trainer whose her skills were in demand by many top owners. In 1991, Elliot succeeded Sheppard as the leading trainer of steeplechasers in the nation in purse money won, ending an 18-year reign by her former boss. She also led the nation in steeplechase victories that year.

Elliot again topped the money list for steeplechase trainers in 1998 and has ranked second or third 11 times. Three jumpers trained by Elliot have won three Eclipse Awards as champions — Correggio in 1996 and Flat Top in 1998 and 2002. Correggio and Flat Top accounted for three of Elliot’s six victories in the Colonial Cup, which she also won with Victorian Hill, Declare Your Wish, and Alajmal.

Elliot won the inaugural running of the Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase in 1986 with Census and again with Flat Top in 2002. Among Elliot’s other major steeplechase victories are six wins in the National Hunt Cup, five wins in the Iroquois, five in the Temple Gwathmey, four in both the A. P. Smithwick and American Grand National, and two in the New York Turf Writers Cup. In 1991, her entrants Declare Your Wish and Double Barrel finished in a dead heat for first in the Grand National.

Through 2020, Elliot ranked fourth on the all-time steeplechase earnings list with $8,366,169.


North America's leading steeplechase trainer in earnings — 1991, 1998
North America's leading steeplechase trainer in wins — 1991

Breeders’ Cup Highlights

Won the 1986 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase — Census
Won the 2002 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase — Flat Top 

Other Highlights

Won the Colonial Cup — 1990, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2013
Won the Iroquois Steeplechase — 1983, 1984, 1991, 1992, 1997
Won the Temple Gwathmey — 1984, 1986, 1988, 1995, 2004
Won the A. P. Smithwick Memorial — 1986, 1992, 1999, 2000
Won the American Grand National — 1991 (in a dead heat with both Declare Your Wish and Double Barrel), 1996, 1998, 2002


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