Jockey Brian Toomey, who defied the odds in returning to the saddle after a life-threatening fall, has joined trainer Dr Richard Newland as an assistant.

Brian suffered serious head injuries in a fall at Perth racecourse in July 2013, where he was clinically dead for six seconds.

The 26-year-old was placed in an induced coma for more than two weeks and underwent surgery to reduce swelling on his brain.

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After rehabilitation at the Injured Jockeys Fund’s Oaksey House, Brian returned to racing at Southwell last year (13 July) where he was applauded into the parade ring.

He rode the Philip Kirby-trained, 11-year-old Kings Grey (pictured, below), who he subsequently pulled up during the 2m4f selling novice hurdle having started out 1-3 favourites.

Brian Toomey on his first ride back from injury Kings Grey at So

This week (20 January) he told H&H he was “excited” to join Dr Newland and plans to continue to race riding.

Dr Newland trained Pineau De Re to win the 2014 Grand National.

“Richard wants to help me and I can learn a lot from him,” Brian told H&H.

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“My aim is still to ride and get in the winner’s enclosure. It has been great [to be back in the saddle], but I’ve only been placed twice.

“There’s no way I’ll give up without achieving this goal. I’m more determined and more confident than I ever was.

Brian initially rode for Phil Kirby before moving to David Pipe, but said he has found rides hard to come by following his accident.

H&H is supporting the IJF as it’s charity of the year 2015. To find out more and make donation click here.