RIP Kirby Park Irish Jester | An Eventful Life

RIP Kirby Park Irish Jester

 

It is always a sad day when you have to say farewell to an old four-legged friend but when you have known him since birth and he has won an Olympic silver medal with you, it is even harder

Megan Jones’ larger than life Kirby Park Irish Jester was today laid to rest at Megan and her husband James’ property in South Australia, not far from where he was born.

The 24 year old grey gelding by Irish Enough was officially retired from competition in an emotional ceremony at the Australian International 3 Day Event in 2012 but he didn’t quite hang up his horseshoes at that point, occasionally letting James take him on a few trail rides and compete him at lower level events

Wherever he was competing, be it at top class international events or meeting his fans at Australian events, the famous grey horse was instantly recognisable by a significant scar on his face, the result of 15 stitches after running into a star picket as a weanling.

Adored by many, he made several ‘celebrity’ appearances (sometimes even including vaulting!) although there were times when Megan would have to take him off for a ‘little burn’ then bring him back for another stint of his fan club at events!

 

 

Always a talented horse, Kirby Park Irish Jester first showed his top class winning ways at the Melbourne International 3 Day Event CCI3* in 2005 and then followed it up by winning the CCI4* in Adelaide in the same year.

It was an emotional time as Megan’s top horse, Kirby Park Irish Hallmark (Paddy) who was meant to be her ride that year, had died suddenly just two weeks before the event from a spider bite. Jester pulled out all the stops for his rider and won not just the biggest event in the southern hemisphere but also the attention of the selectors; the next year Megan and Jester were part of the Australian team to win team bronze at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen

 

 

They went one better in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics in Hong Kong, winning team silver and coming agonisingly close to winning individual gold but two rails in the show jumping meant they finished just off the individual podium in fourth place individually. Kirby Park Irish Jester was the toast of the town on his return to Australia and was ranked the World Number One eventing horse that year but sadly his next Australian team selection was to be his last.

Selected for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010, Jester developed travel sickness on the long journey and could not compete; it was a long recovery period with ongoing complications related to his travel sickness. Megan retired Jester in 2012 and today said a final farewell

“Thank you for everything you have done for me, I owe you everything my little Festy. You were the last of the true warriors and I will always think of you. I have loved every minute that this journey has given me. Good bye my friend, say hi to Paddy for me. Love always, Your Megan”