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The Injured Jockeys Fund marks 50 years of supporting riders

PUBLISHED: 12:33 16 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:35 16 May 2014

Vital therapy for Brian Toomey at Oaksey House

Vital therapy for Brian Toomey at Oaksey House


All racing eyes were on the Aintree Grand National on April 5, but only those older racegoers with the longest memories might remember back to 1964 when jockey Paddy Farrell suffered a career-ending fall there.

Oaksey House in LambournOaksey House in Lambourn

Four months earlier another jockey, Tim Brookshaw, had broken his back. Jump racing stars including jockey Fred Winter and journalist/amateur rider John Lawrence, later Lord Oaksey, set up a fund to help the pair. Until then there had been little support for those whose lives were changed, possibly for forever, by a split-second incident while racing. Today this has grown into The Injured Jockeys Fund which has since helped over 1,000 beneficiaries and spent millions of pounds enhancing the lives of stricken jockeys and their families.

And of course, there is Oaksey House in Lambourn, the charity’s rehab centre for jockeys, the racing workforce, other sports men and women and people from the local community. It opened in 2009 and is part of the remarkable story which has led The Injured Jockeys Fund to mark 50 years of vital service.

How you can help

We know our racing fans will want to support the IJF as it passes the half century mark.

Why not buy the commemorative book, The Injured Jockeys Fund: Celebrating fifty years 1964-2014 by Sean Magee? It’s £20 from

Or make a £5 Text donation, simply text IJF to 70800.

The IJF can being hope for the future

There were fears that jockey Brian Toomey might die when his horse fell at Perth in July last year, but lengthy hospital treatment saw him survive a four week induced coma and end up having a large part of his skull replaced with a metal plate.

He had memory loss and needed extensive therapy, which continued at Oaksey House from October last year. At just 24 he has also had to cope with the fact that a competitive riding career is probably over.

Time at Oaksey House has meant that he can also look to the future with those who best understand his desire to be part of the racing world – fellow jockeys.

1964: That was the year when…

-Agreement was reached between Britain and France on building a Channel Tunnel.

-Arkle won the first of three Cheltenham Gold Cups.

-The average house price was £3,000.

-The first portable TVS went on sale.

-A gallon of petrol (aboout 5 litres) costs four shillings (£.20).

-Winston Churchill retired from the House of Commons, aged 89.

-HM the Queen gave birth to Prince Edward.

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