Lives After Racing
We take great interest in following our four-legged members of Team Kirby once they retire from racing, have a change of career or simply move to another yard. We take special care to find the right homes for our ex-racehorses, whether they be young enough to sell on to an experienced competition home or suitable to long-term loan to a forever home.This page is devoted to our past stable stars journey once leaving us; if you have any news or images to add – please get in touch; we’d love to hear from you.
We hope you enjoy the video above of some of our past racehorses.
These stories below will be updated regularly as and when we receive info from our racers new owners.
Stopped Out : ‘Monty’ was a top-class hurdler in his day and definitely earned his retirement. He now enjoys his life in a slower gear with Nathan in Yarm, who understandably is thrilled with him.
Up The Bees: ‘Bumble’ was sadly retired from racing due to a knee injury at the end of 2016. He was owned by Colin German, Uncle to assistant trainer Simon and it was a very special day for them all when he won first time out around Wetherby on the 28th March 2014. He is fully recovered from the knee injury and now enjoys a quieter life with Julie, who keeps Bumble at the same yard Simon’s mum has her horses, which is good as we get regular updates on what he has been up to! He also has a new bf called Brando – Julie’s other horse.
Bumble with Brando and doing some schooling with Julie.
Platinum: Our Old Borough Cup winning boy was Pippa’s pride and joy and has been rehomed with Lisa. She loves him dearly – even his cheaky bucks and dancing he sometimes does! He has been turning his hooves to some dressage with Lisa which is going really well and she hopes to compete him soon.
Platinum & Lisa.
Courtown Oscar: A big rangy chaser with a stride to match, Courtown was a favourite of traveling head lass Julie and Sarah. He has gone to Julie for his retirement and will live at Helen Hinton’s (rode Tekkibleu de L’orme in the MacMillan charity race at York) just up the road. We look forward to Julie’s updates on what she gets up to with him – that is when she can fit in in around driving our horses around the country!!
Nautical Nitwit : Nitwit has been one of the all-time favourites in the yard, nobody can not love sweat little Nitwit. He made up in effort for what he lacked in size, with the heart of a lion in some tough races and was unlucky to not have had more on the score board. His last win was a Grade2, which was nice to have at one of our favourite tracks, Wetherby. He went to his forever home with Meg, and will have another ex racer of ours for company as Meg’s mother Anna already has Cool Operator.
Nitwit’s reunion with ‘Howard’ and enjoying a hack with Meg.
Simply Smashing : ‘Tiny’ as his friends know him retired a good few years ago now, but somehow didnt make it onto the page! He was Sarah’s first favourite of the yard back at Castleton in the early days, and he joined us at Sharp Hill for a few years too – he was a true stayer and the further he went the better he got. Amongst his wins were the Durham National in 2011 by 15 lengths and he also had a very memorable win at Hexham one day. He spent the whole race struggling to stay with the field, lengths behind the back of the pack until the last few fences under an inspired ride by Kyle James – who luckily also had stamina to match Tiny that day! Tiny went to Scotland for his retirement with Julie where he isnt short of a friend or two – she has minitures, ponies, many dogs, geese and a pet cow to keep him company.
Above: Tiny checking out the camels before winning the Durham National, on Topspec’s feed bag with Sarah in the sea, and in his new home happy in his retirement.
Call It On: ‘Colin’ was another who started out with us back at Castleton and is loved by the senior staff who have known for his many years with us. He was multi-talented with wins and numerous placings on the flat and over jumps for us throughout his racing career, including a hat-trick at the end of summer ’15. He finished his career with tendon issues, but with time was 100% for a slower pace of fun and went to Lori Gillies who says he is ‘definitely my soulmate’, and we can understand why! She enjoys dressage and showjumping with her lovely ginger bf.
Hurricane Hugo : Poor Hugo has been recovering from a cracked pelvis he suffered in his first run for us, but is now heeled and has his happy ending as he has gone to start his new career with Margaret.
Hugo relaxing and with new mum Margaret.
True Ballew: Ballew never quite seemed to be in love with the racing game, so Emily now has the pleasure of enjoying the pretty mare and she is now much happier in her new life. Here she is shining beautifully at their first show together where they came 2nd in the Working Hunter class – look at the smiles, a great first effort!
Ballew & Emily.
Goldan Jess – Some of you may remember one of our previous residents Goldan Jess who was one of our stable stars over the years. He spent 8 years with us and had a lifetime total of 10 wins, one being the Cumbria Crystal Trophy at Cartmel – a track he loved, despite numerous and substantial time off with injury. He was extremely versatile racing on the flat and over jumps throughout his career and had the heart of a lion. Jess was a particular favourite of Simon’s after many years of being his main pilot at home and knowing him since his early days with us back at Castleton where the yard first began. In his younger years he would express his delight whilst being ridden with a loud grunt and was good at throwing very decent bucks here and there when he felt the grunting didn’t quite portray his freshness! A character we much miss. His new owner is Lucy Fletcher and she recently sent us this pic of him enjoying a days hunting, which we are sure he will have found very much fun!
Whitchurch has gone this weekend (20th Aug’17) to Marie Graham following his vetting. He had very much fell out of love with the racing game, running a total of 38 times with 3 wins, his last being back in Oct’16. He has settled in straight away with Marie and will be turning his hooves to doing some eventing. He has already had some re training and enjoyed having some fun over our show jumps we have here at Green Oaks.
Chloe’s Image – Chloe ran a total of 16 times, winning 2 on the flat but never seemed to take to jumping particularly well. A very pretty, friendly mare who looks very similar to her older half sister Lady Chloe (hence the name!) who was also a previous racer, but unfortunately had leg problems before reaching her full potential and is now one of our brood mares. She finished her racing late last yr (2016) and now has a superb new home with Beth Hutchinson. Chloe has recently done her first dressage test and Beth was very pleased with her…
Cleve Cottage & Rocky Two – These two lovely boys recently (June’17) went to begin their new careers with Emma Hauxby. Rocky would be a bit of a spirited ride, but a great fun horse in experienced hands! Cleve is a saint of a horse who will make a great pet and turn his hooves to have a go at anything. Here is a few pics of them already out enjoying doing a bit of ROR challenge….
Finally found 5 mins to send you an update on Birthday Guest (Albi as he’s now nicknamed). He’s been at my close friend Rachel’s yard having the best care he could wish for. She absolutely adores him to pieces. He’s a right cheeky chap, who even escaped from his field into the garden to come and visit her at the window as soon as she was home recovering from an operation.
As you can see he has settled to his new job very well, hacks out everywhere, loves fun rides with their other ex-racers.
I’m popping up to ride him again this Sunday, and can’t wait. Such a fab boy!
Everyone has been asking where he came from and if they can have one just like him!”
Clare Poole Show Team — feeling blessed at Clare Poole Show Team.Kings Grey – Champion ROR and Reserve Supreme Ridden Champion Today at Only his 2nd Show 💙🏇🏆🎉🥂🍾12 Months Since his Last Run of 43 – Over The Moon Doesn’t Even Come Close Today – Thank You to The King’s Grey Partnership for the Amazing Opportunity to Retrain this Lovely Boy Once he retired from Philip Kirby Racing
Word of Warning – Another taken on by Clare Poole who does a fantastic job with them! Doing well in the Aintree 2017 season…
Clare’s Facebook post: Fabulous First Couple of Days at AINTREE INTERNATIONAL EQUESTRIAN CENTRE National Show. Word Of Warning formerly trained by Philip Kirby Racing pulled a Great 69% Prelim Out of the Bag for Best RoR yesterday 👌💙 Today Word Of Warning Won Both his Ridden Classes.
Factor Fifty: ‘Frankie’ left us in November 2016 after a leg injury which cut his racing career short after just 3 years. He ran a total of 21 times, winning on just his second start and again in the Summer of 2014. You wouldn’t find a kinder horse and he was a real yard favourite deserving a 5* home, which rest assured he has with new owner Sarah Cobb in Hampshire. She thinks the world of him already and is looking forward to re-schooling him to do dressage after a Winter off.
Western Trigger: Trigger had a very short stop start career as a racehorse and were very grateful to his former owners The Yarm Racing Partnership for being so patient with him. But after sustaining a number of minor injuries and procedures we thought that racing just wasn’t for him. We are very pleased however to of found him a lovely new home with Naomi Sylvester. Trigger is really finding his niche as a riding horse and Naomi is delighted with his progress so far. It has been great to get her regular updates.
Elspeth’s Boy: Now nicknamed ‘Elvis’ by his new Owner, Shirley Errington, we are delighted with how he has settled into his new life. He is hacking out with Shirley and accompanying her grandchildren, and behaving himself just as we thought he would in his new role. Shirley has trained him to carry a side-saddle and we were delighted to read that Elvis had won the Ladies Side Saddle Class at the big Royal Lancs Show in July 2015! Shirley has done an amazing job retraining him to this high level.
Alicesam: This mare left us last year after a couple of runs and has proved a brilliant buy for her owner Daniel Pantry – she may not have made it as a racehorse but she has proved herself as a competition horse now. He had these words to say about her on a recent email:
“She is now known as Alice or Ali-G she has come on so much! From jumping 60cm jumps to 1m 35cm spreads! She is an amazing horse always trying 100%! Beautiful paces and has won so many rosettes, trophies and money. She had competed in cross-country, show jumping, dressage,been to country shows and she will be doing some British eventing! So proud of her…. Thank you so much for letting me buy her I really do love her to bits and she is such an amazing horse! Definitely a superstar in the making!! :)”
Inch Manor: Manor did not fulfill his early Pointing promise and he was found a super home in Scotland with Aimee Dryden who bought him to go hunting and RC activities. Aimee has been thrilled with this lovely big horse and emailed us to say how well he had taken to eventing:
“Hi Pippa just a quick email to say how pleased we are with Manny and how well he has settled in! We were out for a couple of hours with the Dumfriesshire and Stewartry foxhounds today for his first time and he behaved fantastically, a couple of unsure moments but far less than when I first took my hunter out! He’s now thoroughly pleased with himself and showing off to the girls! Thanks again, Aimee.”
Grey Command: Yorkie left us in 2013 to live with experienced rider, Laura Burman with the hope to compete him once he is fully recovered from his tendon injury. Laura had been on the lookout for a small grey TB and he fitted the bill perfectly. She sent us this message when he first arrived….
“Thought I’d let you know Yorkie is fine. He has been good as gold and seems very settled. Been very quiet when out in his pen and only seems interested in being nosy and eating haulage! He doesn’t seem to be worried about anything and has been fine when the others have been out. Laura x”
Mac Tiernan: Mac now lives with Stacy Reid from Lincolnshire and enjoys hacking out and the occasional competition. He is best friends with the other horse of ours that Stacy took, ‘Huntingfortreasure.’
Noble Scholar: Or ‘Nobby’ as he was known to all has now been honorably retired to his owners home, Ian and Marian Nicol. They have an Equestrian Center near the beach and he gives rides to some of the more nervous or larger riders who visit them for lessons – the perfect job for Nobby as he was so amazingly quiet to ride, he really wasn’t cut out to be a racehorse as he got older, despite winning two bumpers in his early years.
Fairynuff: After a recurrence of a tendon injury at Market Rasen in the summer of 2013, the good-looking grey gelding ‘ fairy ‘ was re-homed – Kate tells us he now enjoys hunting and still looks a picture!
Miss Mysterious: Elegant bay mare, Misty has been retired to her owner’s home for breeding. She ran a blinder on her comeback at Redcar after 18 months on the sidelines but the tendon injury flared back up on the second run. She has some lovely breeding and was very honest – we look forward to hearing of her offspring.
Avidity: Avidity left us in 2013 from the sales to go to James Ewart’s yard – he was top lot at DBS at over £80,000. He’s really settled in to James’s, winning 3 times and been placed numerous times too – really well done to them! He is pictured below enjoying a gallop at James’s.
Mr Cardle: Mr Cardle is another who was sold at the sales; making a very good price of £28,000. He went to Oliver Sherwood’s yard where he is yet to make it first past the post – however he can’t be far off with 2 2nds, 1 3rd and 3 4ths! Good luck to all connected with him. He is pictured below on Oliver’s yard where he seems to be enjoying himself.
Indian Ruler: Indy was only with us a short time, he came from Ireland having had a couple of Point to Point runs. We ran him twice over hurdles but he just wasn’t going to be good enough under rules and he was sold to Helen who runs a super smart Livery Yard ‘Commonside Livery’. She was brave enough to buy Indy over the phone, and I am so pleased to be given the update that he has settled into his new life well.
“Hi Pippa, Indy is doing well we’re on a get fat campaign, haha! He lost a shoe in the field with the weather being so delightful at the moment but hes settled in great. Found the first and only thing he seems to be phased by and that’s the banging fireworks can’t blame him on that one though i prefer the silent pretty ones too :). Hope you’re all well. Helen x”
Avanos: The very elegant ‘Avanos’ has now found a home with his owners friend, and has only gone a few miles up the road. Avanos has a home for life here and it really has worked out so well as she is happy to give his second tendon injury all the time it requires to make a full recovery. I am reliably informed that he is treated like a King at his new yard! He wouldn’t have been up to racing again, but this talented performer did win a good race for us round Market Rasen and at least fulfilled his early promise.
Pennek: Has a lovely home with Andrew and Caron Bates. He has been hunting and doing some showing. He is a very friendly boy who loves attention and will enjoy being spoilt! Here is a few words from Caron on her last update after Penneks’ first ROR class.
“We had a lovely time at SFAS today, I have attached some pictures for your entertainment, I seem to have spent the whole time looking at the floor lol! Oh well that will teach me! Pennek really enjoyed the day, all-in-all he was a very good boy but was excited to be amongst all the action prompting him to hop and skip his way around the ring in his Canter, he was pulled in fourth of his group which surprised me as he was a bit too jolly on the go round, unfortunately he did the same with the ride judge, then developed in to a fidget in the line, so I expect we would have been slammed down to the bottom should they have sent us out to be pulled in again!
All this said, both the ride judge and conformation judge said they really liked him and basically more experience in the ring will be the making of him. I was chuffed to bits with Pennek today I think he kept a lid on his excitment as much as he could, he could have been so much worse if he wasn’t the kind horse he is. Pennek gave me as much as I could have expected of him today so a pleasing first trip out. He has so much more to give and I’m excited about his future. He is building up mass in the right places and becoming much more focused on his schooling, his trot step is much improved too, longer and lower!”
Galileo Figaro: Is now with Nickki Turner, doing very well at high level affiliated dressage and featured in H&H last autumn and also February 2013 winning an elementary national championship. She has very patiently and thoroughly trained Fig , and he is an absolute credit to her. We enjoy getting her updates and are very proud of this past Ownaracehorse runner for us; what a wonderful story, he is becoming quite a star at last.
Back To Paris : Formerly owned & adored by Julie Haughton, ‘Paris’ has now been rehomed with Rosemary Prior and is enjoying a steady life of hacking together. He has a kind forever home.
Black Jacari – Formerly owned by Keith & Jayne Sivills, now with his new owner Stacey Bennett, who says he has
recovered from his leg injury well. ‘Jack’ has been happy hacking and doing some showing. Finished 2nd in his first inhand ROR class. She emailed us to say she is very pleased with him! We have also seen Stacey has put a few pics of him on facebook looking very well and happy! He has recently been keeping another ex racer of Stacey’s company while recovering from a kissing spine operation – Jack has been a very good babysitter!
Royal Entourage: Roger has gone to his new home with Stacy who has former stablemate Black Jacari (above). Roger has been retired from racing due to a tendon injury, and he has won three times for us with several good placings. He is a beautiful horse with a gentle personality and we are sure once fully recovered, he will have an exciting career in Retrained Racehorse classes. H is pictured here meeting his old friend, Black Jacari!
Play The Rock: Now with Helen from Snainton. ‘Pierre’ (he came from France) had a very nasty fall in the field and seemed to have done damage to the nerves in his back, but after many months rest appears to have made a full recovery under the love and care from Helen. Pierre just want quick or bold enough for competitive chases in England but he has really found his niche now and we are so pleased- he is hacking and re schooling lovely to do some dressage. He has a home for life and Helen loves him to bits!
Riverside Poppet: Poppet is a large, well built mare and has a good stride and a big jump. She is a good ride but can get a little frustrated at times and never seemed to relax into her races when she was in training. Poppet is also a practised escape artist and would often take herself on little tours of the yard after bursting past her groom! She has returned home to her breeder owners Tom and Mary Stone who plan to give her a go at being an eventer as she has always been an impressive jumper at home and does lovely flat work. We hope to see her thrive in her new career as she is plenty young enough at 6yo to make a sucess of it and we look forward to some photos!
Treeko: Was with us for a year and a half and had plenty of ability but was quite frustrating, he was 2nd on several occasions! We always knew he would make a high class show horse and he was initially sold to top show producer, Danielle Heath who sold him to the Findlow family for BSPS classes. Treeko has been with Jane Findlow in Cheshire for a few years now and after a shaky start (he has taken time to settle to his new job) he is now enjoying a successful showing career and winning at county level as a large show hack and hopefully in the future – as an ROR. We are sure we will see him at HOYS in the future, the best looking horse we have ever had at Dibble.
Hazy Oaks: Hazy was a decent sort and showed plenty of potential at home, but never quite transferred it out onto the track. Formerly owned by Gareth Fawcett , Hazy was sold to go pointing. Obviously being impressed with her work at home (as we were), she appeared hurdling and was placed once last season.
Double Diva: Formerly owned by Keith Foster, was sold locally to someone to do showing. We have now ‘found’ Diva who is in a good home nearby at Guisbrough, fit and happy.
Millie Jane: Now homed with Lauren from Hull, who had Nightboat To Cairo. ‘Flicka’ is a sweet natured, gentle soul and was a pleasure to have around. She is enjoying hacking and some light rc activities.
Nightboat to Cairo: Tilly as she was known to us was a really tough little mare we bought from Ireland for ourselves. She ran a great 2nd one day, and after several placings she looked capable of winning but we didn’t find her an owner so let her go as a riding Horse where she lived a couple of happy years before tragically being killed in a freak field accident. Such a shame to lose this mare so young, we were very happy to give lauren ‘Flicka’ (pictured above) when she was ready for another horse.
Edgevine: ‘Evie’ has been running under rules for a new owner after she was sold at the DBS Sales. She is yet to win. She was a big, good looking mare but she was fragile.
Freedom Flying: She was another lovely quiet horse who was easy to do anything with. ‘Fly’ is now in training with Lee James in Malton, whose son Kyle has rode a good few winners for us, including this mare at Hexham! Early in 2015 we were over the moon to see Fly back in front under Kyle at Catterick; at 100-1 too! We hope he can bring them many more days to remember.
Prince Freddie: ‘Freddie’ was placed many times, but never managed a win for us. He went to the sales and is now in training with Roy Brotherton since March 2012. Unfortunately he is yet to be placed since leaving us. He was a cheeky character to train, a bit of a lovable rogue!
Earl Grez: Formerly owned by Keith & Jayne Sivills. Has been placed, but never managed to win. Went to the sales as a 7yr old maiden, where he went home with Peter Bowen. He was placed, but never won for Peter either, went back to the sales in November 2012 and has been purchased by Lawney Hill. Earl is a sturdy, scopey looking horse and is a fantastic jumper, maybe a career change into an eventer is calling?
Hoppy’s Flyer & Plus Ultra: Both owned by ‘Gap Personnel’ and are now in training with Paul Midgley. Both decent on the flat, Hoppy winning twice since going. Not too sure what happened to Plus Ultra, or ‘Gary’ as we called him….
Thorsgill – With owners Pat and Thomas Ellwood. He is enjoying doing dressage, ror classes and eventing with their daughters. Chessie as he is known at home, is an incredibly handsome horse who will be with them for life.
Croftbridge – ‘Crofty’ is with ex employee Jenny and has been doing all rc activities. he recently started competing in ROR classes and gained his first championship! Jenny has him looking so well, and to go steadily in the ring is quite an achievement for this former sprinter. he lives not far from where he was trained by us and also enjoys the odd days hunting.