Former amateur Irish steeplechase jockey JT McNamara has passed away overnight at the age of 41.
The Limerick man amassed over 600 victories in is career, with notable wins in the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival, the same race ten years previously on Rith Dubh, the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase with Spot The Difference in 2005 and the 2007 Foxhunter Chase where he partnered with Drombeag.
McNamara was left paralysed when Gloucestershire-trained Galaxy Rock fell at the first fence in the 2013 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.
The fall fractured two of McNamara's vertebrae and he was initially placed in a coma while recovering from neck surgery. McNamara returned home to Ireland 15 months later. The father-of-three subsequently required 24-hour care and the use of a hi-tech wheelchair, which cost up to €400,000-a-year. The racing community, and in particular JP McManus, assisted with the medical costs.
McNamara received a number of negative prognoses but had begun a training a career in his native Croom.
He is survived by three children, Dylan, Harry and Olivia, and his wife, Caroline.
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