A jockey has died after falling from a horse at a race at Charing racecourse, Kent .
Keagan Kirkby, 25, was thrown from his horse during the final race at Charing racecourse on Sunday 4th February 2024.
Kirkby was riding in a Point-to-Point meeting (Point-to-Point is a form of amateur racing with huge popularity across the country), but the day took an awful turn when Kirkby was thrown from horse he partnered in the final race. The on course medical team rushed to his side and he received immediate medical attention. An air ambulance was called as medics fought to save his life, but Kirkby could not be saved.
The Injured Jockeys Fund said the horse ran through the wing of a jump during the final race of the event. A wing is a railing – usually made of plastic, wood, or metal – that sits at an angle either side of a jump to guide the horse towards it.
His ability was such that last November he was nominated for a Thoroughbred Industry Employee Award in the category for best rider. His nomination for the industry award spoke of a “thoughtful rider who develops a personal bond with his horses” and of “his affable, helpful nature and popularity on the yard”.
We kindly ask that everyone respects the privacy of Keagan’s family and the team at Paul Nicholls Racing at this tragic time
Kirkby worked for champion trainer Paul Nicholls who has been left mortified by his death.
Mr Nicholls wrote ‘Life is so hard sometimes, winners totally insignificant compared to what has happened today. Sadly Keagan Kirby one of our best, hardworking lads lost his life today riding in a point to point. All at team Ditcheat are mortified. Thoughts with all his friends and family. He was passionate about his job and his riding and rode Afadil every day.’
British Horseracing Authority chief executive Julie Harrington released a statement saying ‘Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and everyone at the yard of Paul Nicholls. The entire Racing industry will be in mourning at the loss of someone so young and with such potential’.