18 October 2021

Lady Buttons to stay in retirement

18 October 2021

Phil Kirby’s Lady Buttons has been permanently retired as connections decided not to run her again following her recent return to training.

Lady Buttons has long been a much-loved part of Kirby’s string, winning as a bumper horse before her stellar career over both hurdles and fences.

Her finest days were often at Doncaster, where she won the Group Two Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle twice as well as two victories in the Listed Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase.

She was also dominant in the Mares’ Hurdle at Wetherby, another Listed contest – finishing second in in 2017 and then winning in both 2018 and 2019.

Last September, Lady Buttons was retired after suffering a minor injury which would have seen her miss the majority of the season, but hopes of breeding from her where dashed when she was found to have under-developed ovaries and would therefore never be able to produce a foal.

In the light of that discovery, the 11-year-old made a tentative return to training at the start of this season, with a comeback run possible if she displayed her previous ability on the gallops.

That did not prove the case, and as a result the mare has been retired again – and will this time remain at Kirby’s yard to be ridden by his daughter Izzy.

“We’ve given her every chance, but she just wasn’t quite as sharp and as good as she used to be,” said Kirby.

She'll stay here forever - Izzy's going to ride her, and she'll have a home here forever

“There was no harm in seeing where she was, and there was nothing actually stopping us from running her, but I just didn’t think she was quite what she used to be.

“She’ll stay here forever – Izzy’s going to ride her, and she’ll have a home here forever.

“She’s been a star, and we’ll make sure she has a nice life for the rest of her days.”

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