Paralysed jockey JT McNamara dies

Former leading amateur rider JT McNamara has died aged 41 having spent the past three years paralysed from injuries sustained in a race fall.

McNamara fractured two vertebrae in his neck in the fall at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013 .

Renowned as one of the best amateur riders the sport has ever seen, McNamara partnered more than 600 winners during his career.

“I’ve just spoken to his wife Caroline and I can confirm JT passed away peacefully during the night,” Adrian McGoldrick, senior medical officer for the Irish Turf Club, told Press Association Sport.

McNamara was initially treated in Britain following the fall which left him paralysed from the neck down.

He eventually returned to his County Limerick home last June and had begun to establish a training operation at his Croom yard, although he required constant care.

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Andrew Coonan, secretary of the Irish Jockeys Association and a former amateur himself, paid tribute to McNamara’s bravery in the face of such serious injury.

“JT had battled very bravely for the last few years of his life,” he said.

“It was a very, very tough time for him and his family and to have lost him at this stage is shocking.

“I rode against JT and watched him, and he was an incredibly accomplished rider, one of the best.

“It just serves as a reminder of the dangers the riders put themselves in for our sport. These things don’t just happen to the less well-known jockeys, they happen to the best as well.”

McNamara is survived by his wife Caroline and children Dylan, Harry and Olivia.

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