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Jockey dies after falling from horse in Kent

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A 25-year-old jockey died in Kent after a fall during a horse race on Sunday.

Keagan Kirkby was riding in the Charing point-to-point when his horse went off course through the wing of a fence.

Although he was treated by an on-course medical team as well as the air ambulance, he succumbed to his injuries.

Injured Jockeys Fund issued a statement confirming his death.

“It is with deep sadness that we have to report that West Country point-to-point rider, Keagan Kirkby, 25, has died following a fall at Charing point-to-point in Kent today,” read the statement.

“His horse, trained locally, ran out through the wing of a fence on the second circuit of the final race. The on-course medical team attended immediately and despite additional support from a 999 Helicopter Emergency Services crew, he could not be saved.

“Keagan was a respected member of the Paul Nicholls team, who joined in 2019 and who had been awarded employee of the month in December 2021. He was shortlisted for the 2024 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards in the Rider/Groom category.

“We kindly ask that everyone respects the privacy of Keagan’s family and the team at Paul Nicholls Racing at this tragic time.”

In a post on X, champion trainer Mr Nicholls paid tribute to Kirkby describing him 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, also issued a statement condoling Kirkby’s death.

“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.

“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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