Messages of support for Irish jockey JT McNamara following horror fall at Cheltenham Festival
MEMBERS of the racing fraternity have sent messages of support to jockey JT McNamara after it was confirmed he had been left paralysed by a fall at Cheltenham Festival.
The 37-year-old Irishman suffered horrific neck injuries after coming off his mount Galaxy Rock at the first fence of the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at last month's showpiece.
Crowds fell to a worried hush as he was examined on the turf by medical staff before being airlifted to Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol.
Broadway-based jockey Paddy Brennan, who won the Gold Cup on Imperial Commander in 2010, led messages of sympathy.
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He tweeted: "Thoughts are with JT McNamara, his wife Caroline and their three kids this evening. #WeAreThereForYouJT."
Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, also weighed in.
"Awful news with confirmation of the extent of JT's injuries," he said via Twitter.
"The risks faced/sacrifices made by our brave boys and girls to entertain us."
The extent of McNamara's paralysis has not yet been confirmed.
He was previously considered one of the best amateur jockeys of the modern era with more than 600 wins to his name. A statement released on behalf of McNamara's family said despite the doctors' prognosis, he remained positive.
It said: "While he suffered a serious neck injury resulting in paralysis, he has made progress in the last week and is in a very positive frame of mind.
"He is greatly appreciative of the many messages received and also wishes to thank Frenchay Hospital, who are looking after him so well."
McNamara could be transferred to the National Spinal Unit at The Mater Hospital, Dublin, in the next few days to be closer to his wife and children.