Brian Toomey, the jockey who suffered serious head injuries in a fall two years ago and died for six seconds, made his miracle comeback to the racecourse yesterday at Southwell (12 July).
The 26-year-old was applauded into the parade ring to ride the Philip Kirby-trained, 11-year-old Kings Grey, who he subsequently pulled up during the 2m4f selling novice hurdle having started out 1-3 favourites.
Following the race, Brian described being back in the saddle as “a fairytale ending” and is looking forward to getting his racing career back on track.
The Irishman was given a three per cent chance of survival following the horror fall at Perth racecourse on 4 July 2013. He was placed in an induced coma for two weeks, spent 157 days in hospital and had part of his skull removed in an operation.
Since his rehabilitation process began, Brian has been determined to get back in the weighing room. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) granted him his license back to race-ride in June this year. He passed the necessary tests and assessments with neurosurgeons to determine fitness to ride, ability to control a horse safely and the risk of further injury if he were to fall.
“It’s been a long road back but the one thing that has driven me throughout my recovery was a desire to be a jockey again. Just in surviving and overcoming all that I have been through I feel I have won the biggest and most important race of my life, and anything else is a bonus,” Brian previously told H&H.
“I hope what I’ve been through can serve as an inspiration for others who injure themselves and are told that they might never return to doing what they love. Work hard and never give up and you just never know what could happen.”