• Horse racing

McNamara paralysed following fall

ESPN staff
March 29, 2013
JT McNamara fell from Galaxy Rock at Cheltenham © PA Photos

A statement from the Irish Turf Club and Injured Jockeys Fund has confirmed jockey JT McNamara has been left paralysed following his fall at the Cheltenham Festival.

The 37-year-old fractured the C3 and C4 vertebrae in a fall from Galaxy Rock in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup earlier in the month.

Dr Adrian McGoldrick, Irish Turf Club Senior Medical Officer and Lisa Hancock, CEO, Injured Jockeys Fund issued a statement on behalf of the McNamara Family.

The statement read: "JT McNamara remains in the Frenchay Hospital, Bristol. Whilst 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, cards and letters received and also wishes to thank the Frenchay Hospital who are looking after him so well."

Hancock, speaking to Sky Sports News, added: "Some paralysis has been suffered and it is too early to say the severity of it. There is a lot of bruising in the area and so we just do not know what might be the future and what potential there might be. The injury is severe.

"He is very, very keen to get home and understandably so. At the moment the doctors are keen for him to stay a little longer and they have not put a timeframe on that either.

"He is in amazing spirits, all things considered."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.