Jockey Keagan Kirkby, aged 25, tragically passed away after being thrown from a horse mid-race. The incident occurred at Charing, Kent, while Kirkby was racing for champion trainer Paul Nicholls. His horse ran out through the wing of a fence on the second circuit of the final race of the day, resulting in the fatal fall. Despite immediate attention from on-site medics and the dispatch of an air ambulance, Kirkby could not be saved.
A statement from the Injured Jockeys’ Fund confirmed the news and expressed deep sadness over the loss. Kirkby was recognized as a respected member of the Paul Nicholls team, having joined in 2019 and received accolades for his work. The horse Kirkby was riding, Afadil, was a favorite in the race and he had expressed confidence in its potential victory just the day before. His passion for his job and riding was evident to those who knew him, and his untimely death has left a profound impact on his friends and family.
Within the racing community, Kirkby was known for his talent, dedication, and achievements. Despite the efforts of on-site vets, the Grade One Challow Hurdle hero, Nickle Back, who was a favorite in the race, also suffered a fatal fall, leading to a tragic day in the world of horse racing.