Jockey Kieran Norris, the NSA champion rider of 2016 and a mainstay on the circuit since 2012, is hanging up his tack. The 35-year-old won 63 of his 600 career starts and achieved memorable wins aboard Merriefield Farm’s Foyle in the International Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup; Gill Johnston’s Awesome Pearl in the Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes at Saratoga; Sara Collette’s Zanclus in the Virginia Gold Cup; Armata Stable’s Cornhusker in the Middleburg Hunt Cup; and Check Mark Stables’ Willow U in the Springdale, which earned him the riding title on the final day of the 2016 season. Norris had plenty of other nice winners, too, such as My Afleet, Hardrock Eleven, Bodie Island, and Formidable Heart, In addition, he captured the National Sporting Library & Museum Cup at Middleburg with Worried Man and Aiken’s Imperial Cup aboard Pleasant Woodman. His final victory came aboard Critical Data at Middleburg in June.
Why did the Irish-born jock decide to retire now? According to Kieran’s wife, trainer Madison Meyers, “I guess the time has just come. We have 20 horses in training and Kieran really wants to be able to focus more on that.” Plus, Meyers added, the couple, who reside in Middleburg, has a baby girl on the way. The due date is Oct.12. Here’s a look back at some of Kieran’s many memorable moments.