Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Waking Ned

RIP Waking Ned

We are sad to report the passing of Phil’s wonderful first ever winner ‘Waking Ned’ today. 15 year old Ned had lived with Lesley and Bob Haw since his retirement from racing and he had been a brilliant hacking companion to their youngsters.


P7192082Ned was a real gentleman to ride and he won several Racehorse to Riding Horse and Hunter Classes throughout his 2nd career. I was very proud to ride him in the Burghley ring a few years ago, although he blotted his copybook that day as he didn’t want to stand still! It was quite amazing really as he was always very lazy usually! I watched him win the Hunter Class at a local show just 2 years ago, and he looked in tremendous form.

Phil bought Ned at the DBS sales for £6000 – it was all of our budget and he was one of the last through the ring that day. It seemed it was meant to be. We owned him in a Partnership with Phils Dad, Geoff, Gareth Fawcett and leading Irish Greyhound Trainer, Gerry Holian. It was a dream come true when he scooted clear in his first Open Point to Point at Higham ridden by lady jockey,  Rachel Clarke . The win was so nedimpressive he was switched to a Hunter Chase next, and he posted another clear cut victory (12 lengths) at Sedgefield ridden by  Richard Tierney to give Phil his first winner on the track. On to Kelso and under the same jockey he won again, although was made to work harder this time and he had to dig deep. Scan11388With the good ground against him but deserving of his place, Ned ran in the Cheltenham Foxhunters and although wasn’t placed, jumped round safely on ground that was just too quick for him.  On his last start that season he battled back in Scan11189tremendous fashion  to win the 3m 7f Stayers Final at Perth and be crowned the joint most winning  Hunter Chaser of the season.  he had never even jumped a fence until he came to us !  His exploits and that of Benrajah and Thorsgill won Phil the leading Hunter Chase Trainer of the year in his first season training, and he was duly presented at their awards night.   That was to be Ned’s final win, as although he ran well on debut next season for 4thScan11191 at Haydock in good handicap Company, and then 4th in the Devon National, he became increasingly laid back and would drop himself out in his races. Not wanting to keep  him going if he wasn’t enjoying himself, Ned was retired and went to live with  former head Girl, Lesley and her husband Bob, and he had been with them ever since.  He became very ill suddenly today  and the swift decision was made by the vet to put him to sleep. It feels almost like the end of an era – he was the horse that started Phil’s career, and we owe him so much – there will always be some fantastic memories.


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