The world of horse racing is waking up this morning to the sad passing of one of their bravest compatriots, jockey John Thomas “JT” McNamara, aged 41.
The Limerick rider passed away overnight following a three-year battle against catastrophic injuries he sustained in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013.
McNamara, a native of Croom, won over 600 races during his illustrious career.
He won the 2002 National Hunt Chase on Rith Dubh and the same race again in 2012 on Teaforthree.
He also won the Cross-Country Chase with Spot The difference in 2005 and the 2007 Fox Hunter Chase on Drombea.
The father-of-three suffered paralysis after breaking his neck when his horse, Galaxy Rock, fell at the first fence in the 2013 Challenge Cup.
It was touch-and-go for the first few weeks after his horrific fall but his tenacity rode him through. He spent 15 months in rehabilitation in Britain and Ireland before returning to Croom.
It is understood that McNamara suffered medical complications last Friday and was taken to University Hospital Limerick. He was later discharged to spend his final days with his family.
JT is survived by his wife Caroline and three children, Dylan, Harry and Olivia, and will forever be remembered by the racing community as one of their most skilled and bravest riders.