Keagan Kirkby Dies After Fall At Charing Point-To-Point in Kent

Paul Nicholls led the tributes to Keagan Kirkby after the confirmation of his passing was released on Sunday | The Jockey Club

Trainer Paul Nicholls has led the tributes to Keagan Kirkby, the amateur rider who tragically died after a fall at Charing point-to-point on Sunday.

In a statement released by the Injured Jockeys Fund, the 14-time Champion National Hunt trainer, with whom Kirkby was based, described Kirkby as “one of our best, hardworking lads.”

Nicholls said, “Life is so hard sometimes, winners totally insignificant compared to what has happened today. Sadly, Keagan Kirkby, 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.”

According to the IFJ, the incident occurred on the second circuit of the final race, when the rider's mount ran out through the wing of a fence. Despite immediate attention by the on-course medical team as well as additional support from a 999 Helicopter Emergency Services crew, Kirkby could not be saved.

Kirkby joined Nicholls's operation in 2019 and had been awarded employee of the month in December 2021. He was also shortlisted for the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards in the Rider/Groom category for 2024.

“We are devastated to hear the tragic news regarding the fatal injuries sustained by Keagan Kirkby. 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,” said British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Chief Executive Julie Harrington.

“The esteem in which he was held is clear from the fact that he 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. We call on everyone to respect the privacy of Keagan's family and the Paul Nicholls yard.”

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