JT McNamara celebrates winning the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Steeple Chase at Cheltenham in 2012
The world of horseracing has been plunged into mourning today with the tragic news of the death of former jockey John Thomas McNamara, who was just 41 years of age.
McNamara, who made his name as one of the finest amateur jockeys in the history of national hunt racing, fractured two vertebrae in his neck after being thrown from his horse Galaxy Rock in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup on March 14, 2013 at the Cheltenham festival and was paralysed from the neck down.
According to the Limerick Leader, the father-of-three is understood to have suffered complications on Friday night before being transferred to University Hospital Limerick.
He was discharged to spend his final days with his family.
He is survived by his wife Caroline, his two sons, Dylan and Harry, and his daughter Olivia.
McNamara had over 600 career wins and visited the winner's enclosure at the Cheltenham festival on four different occasions.
He won the National Hunt Chase twice, on board Rith Dubh in 2002 and he repeated the feat 10 years later on the Rebecca Curtis-trained Teaforthree.
He was also victorious on the Enda Bolger-trained Spot The Difference in the 2005 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, sporting the JP McManus silks that he carried to success on so many occasions.
He won the Foxhunters Chase at the festival for the same connections in 2007 on Drombeag.
Tributes to the much-loved jockey have been pouring in on social media:
Thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of JT McNamara who passed away last night. RIP pic.twitter.com/lvx7XjtgXT
— Darren Frehill (@Darrenfrehill) July 26, 2016
Rip JT McNamara
— Charlie Austin (@chazaustin9) July 26, 2016
We're extremely sad to report that JT McNamara has passed away. pic.twitter.com/D8s5qIOblA
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 26, 2016
Rest in Peace JT McNamara. Thoughts with his family and friends today.
— John Duggan (@jduggantodayfm) July 26, 2016
JT McNamara wasn't someone I knew personally but someone I had huge admiration for both in the saddle and his courage later in life. #RIPJT
— Ben Pauling Racing (@benpauling1) July 26, 2016