Home » Keagan Kirkby: Jockey, 25, dies after falling from horse during race in Kent

Keagan Kirkby: Jockey, 25, dies after falling from horse during race in Kent

A jockey has died after falling from a horse during a race in Kent.

Keagan Kirkby was riding in the Charing point-to-point on Sunday when his horse ran through the wing of a fence.

Wings, usually made of plastic, sit at both ends of a fence and guide horses towards a jump.

Following the fall, on-site paramedics, as well as a team from the air ambulance, attempted to treat the 25-year-old.

However, Mr Kirkby, who worked at the stables of leading trainer Paul Nicholls, succumbed to his injuries.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Nicholls paid tribute to Mr Kirkby, who he described as “one of our best, hard-working lads”.

“All at team Ditcheat are mortified,” he said.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the regulatory body for horse racing in Great Britain, said it was “devastated to hear the tragic news”.

BHA chief executive Julie Harrington said: “The entire racing industry will be in mourning at the loss of someone so young and with such potential.”

Ms Harrington said Mr Kirkby was nominated for the Rider/Groom category of the 2024 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards and made it through to the final 10 in his category.

“The nomination spoke of Keagan’s qualities as a thoughtful rider who develops a personal bond with his horses, understands their characters and adapts his riding accordingly, as well as his affable, helpful nature and popularity on the yard,” she said.

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In a statement, the Injured Jockey Fund described Mr Kirkby as a “respected member of the Paul Nicholls team, who joined in 2019 and who had been awarded employee of the month in December 2021”.

Point-to-point is a form of amateur horse racing over fences held at a variety of racecourses throughout the UK, as well as Ireland – where the sport is open to licensed professional trainers.