As exciting and entertaining as it is, horseracing is not without danger. Both rider and horses are always in danger, at least to a small degree, when racing. A lot is done in the sport ensure that health and safety issues are addressed, but that can’t prevent every incident. News has just reached us of a very unfortunate accident involving the jockey Brian Toomey. He was riding in a race in Perth when his horse fell and caused him to suffer a potentially life-threatening head injury.
Family At His Bedside
Already there is good news, thankfully, because Toomey is now in a stable condition in hospital, we are delighted to report. The 24-year-old Irish rider was taken straight to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. His mother and sister rushed to be with him and are currently at his bedside in intensive care. The only update on his condition has been that it is ‘stable’, as announced by the Injured Jockeys’ Fund. A further update is not expected until after the weekend, Monday at the earliest.
Fell At the Perth Festival
It was on Thursday (4 July) that Toomey suffered his fall. The horse was Solway Dandy, and the fall came in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the Perth Festival. He had been riding the horse for his girlfriend’s father, Kevin Ryan. Kevin is a racehorse trainer that owns a yard situated in North Yorkshire. Medics initially called in an air ambulance but it was instead decided to transport Toomey by road.
Jockeys At High Risk Of Falling
Toomey has had a rather impressive career, managing to rider 49 winners since 2008. He has previously ridden at Aintree, Cheltenham and Punchestown – all festivals. In the wake of his accident, media sources have been frequently the frightening average fall rate that jockeys have to suffer through. On average it is said that a jockey falls every 16 races, therefore placing them at considerable risk of injury.
Grand National Winner’s Fall
The winning jockey of the 2013 Grand National was an unknown Scot named Ryan Mania. He rode the 66/1 longshot Auroras Encore to victory at Aintree Racecourse. Jockeys differ from your average sportsman because they can be called upon the very next day after a major race. This is what happened to Ryan Mania back in April. He rode in Northumberland the next day and the end result was at the polar opposite end of the spectrum to winning the Grand National. Mania fell from his horse and was kicked unconscious in the head by a horse.
McNamara Not So Fortunate
One jockey not so fortunate was JT McNamara, who fell from his horse at the Cheltenham Festival. McNamara was left paralysed after his fall in March, fracturing two vertebrae. He had been at risk of brain damage but thankfully staff managed to avoid that outcome. Horseracing is a dangerous sport and these stories highlight the bravery of the jockeys.
We hope that Brian Toomey makes a full recovery.