He first rode under Rules aged 15, in a mile contest for amateurs at Haydock Park on May 3, 1986 and subsequently rode 50 winners over jumps. Donald spent two and a half years working for Luca Cumani before becoming pupil assistant to Oliver Sherwood. He then continued to gain experience in top Flat yards during the summer break from jumping, spending time with Sir Michael Stoute, Chris Wall and Sean Woods.
Donald assisted his father until taking over the licence in June, 2006 and his first winner as a trainer was Bearaway, Newton Abbot, June 8, 2006.
Not only has he previously been the ‘winning most’ National Hunt trainer in UK seasons, but Donald has also enjoyed notable success on the Flat with Overturn, successful in the Northumberland Plate in 2010 and the Chester Cup in 2011, and Ile De Re, who captured the same two heritage handicaps in 2012.
Notable big wins include Cheltenham Festival winners include Whiteoak (Grade 2 – David Nicholson Mares Hurdle – 2008), Peddlers Cross (Grade 1 – Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle – 2010), Cinders and Ashes (Grade 1 – William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – 2012) and Ballabriggs landing the Grand National in 2011.
Married to Sian, they have three great children; Abbie and Ella are making great strides in pony racing and his youngest, Finlay has ambitions to be either a jockey or an Engine Driver!