More than £40,000 has been raised for jockey Keegan Kirkby who was killed in an accident at Charing Point to Point
Young talent Keegan Kirkby, described as a “shining beacon” in the tributes, was killed when he was thrown from his horse at the final event at Charing over the weekend.
The Injured Jockeys’ Fund said the 25-year-old locally trained horse ran through a fence flank on the second circuit of the last race.
Police and paramedics were called to the accident on Sunday at around 3.30pm, and an air ambulance also landed at the scene.
Unfortunately, the Somerset-based rider could not be saved and died at the scene.
A fundraiser was held the following day to raise money for his funeral and memorial.
“The world sadly lost one of the kindest and most honest men,” she said on Sunday.
“As a young boy, Keegan could only dream of working for a champion trainer and riding winners,” the letter read.
“With hard work and sheer determination, he got there and achieved everything he dreamed of and more.
“He was truly an inspiration to everyone who had a dream and never gave up.
“He always had a smile and kind words to say to anyone he met.
“Keegan, you will be missed by so many people – you were truly one of a kind.
“This page was created to help the Keegan family who have lost their family’s beacon.
“The money raised will go to fund his funeral and some type of memorial in his honor.”
Organizers of the JustGiving page set a target of £5,000, but it has raised more than £40,000 in just two days. You can donate to the fundraiser here.
Touching tributes poured in from family, friends and the racing community when news of the tragic accident broke.
Keegan’s friend Emily Berg said: “Never in a million years did I think I would find someone like you who cared for me and took care of me the way you did.
“I am very sad and always will be.
“You were the light at the end of a long week at work.
“We had lots of plans over the summer to go to the lakes and show them where I grew up on Exmoor.”
Keagan worked with champion trainer Paul Nicholls, who posted a tribute on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
“The winners are completely unimportant compared to what happened today…”
“Life is so hard sometimes, and the winners are completely insignificant compared to what happened today,” he wrote.
“Sadly, Keegan Kirkby, one of our best and hardest-working players, lost his life today while riding point to point. Everyone in the Ditcheat team is horrified. His thoughts are with all his friends and family. He was passionate about his work and his riding.
British Horseracing Authority chief executive Julie Harrington issued a statement saying she was “deeply saddened to hear the tragic news”.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and everyone who was at Paul Nichols Square,” she said.
“The entire racing industry will be mourning the loss of someone so young and with such potential.
“The esteem in which he is held is evident from the fact that he was nominated for the Rider/Groom category in the 2024 Thoroughbred Industry Staff Awards, reaching the bottom ten in his category.
“The nomination spoke to Keegan’s qualities as a thoughtful rider who develops a personal relationship with his horses, understands their personalities and adapts his riding accordingly, as well as his kind and helpful nature and his popularity in the arena.
“We ask everyone to respect the privacy of the Keegan family and Paul Nichols Square.”
Legendary champion jockey AP McCoy said: “Tragically sad news. My thoughts are with Keegan’s family, friends and everyone in Ditchit.
(tags for translation) Ashford