JT McNamara, Irish jockey, Died at 41

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John Thomas “JT” McNamara was born on April 8, 1975, and died on July 26, 2016.

He was an Irish amateur steeplechase jockey.

JT has won over 600 racecourse victories during his career.

McNamara encountered a serious back injury and a broken neck after a fall at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival which left him paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.

Then he teamed up with Teaforthree to secure victory in the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival having been the 5-1 favourite.

JT McNamara won the same race in 2002 on Rith Dubh, was successful in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase with Spot Thedifference three years later and won the 2007 Foxhunter Chase on Drombeag.

He was severely hurt when Galaxy Rock, trained locally in Gloucestershire by Jonjo O’Neill, fell at the first fence in the 2013 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

Sadly the fall fractured both McNamara’s C3 and C4 vertebrae.

McNamara was flown to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol and was initially kept in an induced coma after recovering from neck surgery.

JT McNamara was the first jockey to have been paralysed on riding at a British racecourse since Wayne Burton suffered a serious head injury in a fall in Exeter in March 2008.

During June 2014, McNamara returned home to Ireland in a wheelchair 15 months after his fall at Cheltenham.

He was married to Caroline and the couple had three children.

He retired in his country of birth, Ireland.

JT McNamara passed away at 41 years old.

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