Brian Toomey: “It wasn’t really a hard decision to retire”
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Lee Mottershead 8:00PM 7 JUN 2016
BRIAN TOOMEY, the miracle jump jockey who last year came back from the dead to resurrect his riding career, is to retire from the saddle after taking one last mount next week.
Toomey was given just a three per cent chance of survival after suffering terrible head injuries in a Perth fall during the summer of 2013.
He completed an astonishing recovery when returning at Southwell in July last year but trainers and owners have been reluctant to use a jockey whose condition was so bad he spent 157 days in hospital.
The 27-year-old, whose last ride was in February, hopes to partner City Dreams for his good friend Brian Dunn at Stratford on Tuesday, after which he will concentrate on building a new career in racing.
“I’ve had barely any rides, so it wasn’t really a hard decision to retire,” Toomey told the Racing Post.
“I just wanted the chance to prove I was still capable. I put so much effort into getting back but because of the injury there was still that barrier between owners, trainers and myself. I’ve been gutted about it but now I can understand why I didn’t get many rides.”
‘Weight lifted off my shoulders’
That understanding came following a conversation with trainer Enda Bolger, who stressed how much the rider’s family and friends would worry every time he took part in a race.
Toomey – who enjoyed 49 winners over jumps in Britain before his accident – added: “Enda sat me down and the things he said made sense.
“It’s a big weight lifted off my shoulders. At some point I needed to accept it wasn’t going to happen for me as a jockey. I only accepted it last week. Now I’m looking forward to the future.”
Read the full interview with Brian Toomey in Wednesday’s Racing Post – available first on your iPad from 8pm Tuesday