Philip Kirby Racehorse Trainer

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Being an Owner

We would like to give you an insight into being an Owner with us, whether a sole Owner or one in a Partnership – and what you can expect sending your horse to us.

A hardworking Trainer: Phil loves having winners and it is what drives him on. It is non stop life, and people often say they have not met a more hands on or hard-working trainer. He might be hard to catch on the phone sometimes but rest assured it is because he is out there being busy with the horses.

An eperienced team: Phil may be at the helm but he is backed up by a vastly experienced team, headed by Simon Olley (Assistant Trainer), Sarah Olley (Head Girl), Julie Heneghan (Travelling Head Girl) and our hardworking, talented riders and stable staff, many of which are also successful amateur/conditional jockeys. We aim to make all of our owners feel part of the team and ensure they feel at home when at the yard or visiting their horses at the races.  Importantly, we have a high ratio of staff to horses.

To learn a little more about the team click here.

Ambition: Phil is extremely ambitious and strives for higher class horses, but that is not to say they’re treated differently to any other horse on the yard.We endeavor to treat every horse like a King or Queen and get the very best from them.

Attention to detail: Finding the key to each individual horse is at the forefront of Phil’s mind and attention to detail is paramount. This is the reason why our horses enjoy a varied and busy training regime, relaxed stable life with regular turnout, thick quilted rugs, deep shavings beds, and access to haylage  24/7.  Our Sponsors TOPSPEC make food of the very highest award-winning standards and no corners are cut. As a result you will notice how well our horses look at home and in the paddock at the races, good in their coats, fit but well covered and able to take their racing well. We pride ourselves on many Best Turned Out prizes and the horses are easy to spot in their green and yellow TOPSPEC colours.

Honesty: Phil is realistic about horses, and is honest with his owners if he feels the horse is not up to being competitive.  He will not give false hope if a horse is not working well, and if the horse needs a break or is not going to be good enough, then that is what you will hear. That is not to say that individual horses often take longer to come right or shine, need more schooling and confidence than others, or simply require further time to mature. Being an Owner can require tremendous patience but if there is no ability, no amount of time will make them run faster.

Furthermore he will not charge commission on going to the sales to buy or find a horse.

Training fees: Having a Horse In Training is expensive, there is no two ways to put it. There are methods of soothing the pain of the bill and that’s owning a share as opposed to the full 100%. We can offer shares of 50% down to 2%,  but it is worth remembering that if you own 50% or more of a horse you can claim ALL your VAT back on training fees. Having a racehorse is never an investment, by far the majority only cost you money…but you can have lots of fun spending it and with luck you will win some back.

Full training fees aren’t charged as a matter of course at Philip Kirby Racing – the horse is put on the right rate for the work he/she is doing, and is therefore ‘on’ or ‘off’ the gallop fee list. Horses starting back in work will do 4-6 weeks ‘light work’, to give them a good fitness grounding before going into full training.  Also, if a horse requires time to rest, they are put on ‘box rest rate’ which includes walker and daily turnout. We are conscious to ensure all our owners only pay for what is necessary.

Click here to view our full list of training fees.

A life after racing: We have a great record of re-homing our ex-racers and follow-up their next careers to keep an eye on them. A look at our ‘Past Horses’ page will tell you everything and there are some wonderful stories there.

One of our current Owners, Keith Foster wrote a post for us about his experience with the yard and this is how he put his thoughts into words…

‘I have known Phil for about 6 years, in that time I have been to his yard many times, Phil and Pippa make you feel like one of the family.  I have been with other trainers, many of the more so-called successful trainers treat you as just their bank account filler, Phil treats you with respect and explains in great detail what he thinks of your horse and its prospects. He has an ability to get the very best out of a horse that other trainers have failed with. He has the horse’s welfare at heart and will not carry on with the horse if it has no talent for racing, instead they find the horse a new career and what’s more they follow it up and let their owners know .’

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