UK & World News
JT McNamara: Jockey Faces Surgery After Fall
Jockey JT McNamara is expected to undergo surgery after sustaining a serious neck injury in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival.
The 37-year-old was injured in a first-fence fall from Galaxy Rock in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup on Thursday.
McNamara, one of the leading amateurs on the horse racing circuit for a number of years, was airlifted to hospital after being treated by the on-course medics.
He was reportedly conscious following the fall but was put in an induced coma before his transfer to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol from the Gloucestershire course.
Dr Adrian McGoldrick, chief medical officer for the Irish Turf Club, said there was no change in McNamara's condition overnight but he confirmed the rider has damaged two vertebrae.
"There has been no change overnight. He's still in the induced coma," said Dr McGoldrick.
"It is a fracture of the C3 and C4 vertebrae. He will probably be going for surgery ... but we will know more later in the day."
Champion jockey AP McCoy told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's a dangerous sport and it's a sight that you see that unfortunately crops up; we're very lucky we have excellent medical care. We just hope he's going to be OK."
Mr McNamara, real first names John Thomas, is one of Ireland's leading amateur jockeys. As well as four victories at the Cheltenham Festival, he has ridden 602 winners.
His horse Galaxy Rock was reported to be unhurt.
Meanwhile, racing pundit John McCririck has been discharged from hospital but will not be at Cheltenham for today's Gold Cup.
Mr McCririck complained of feeling unwell during the first day of the Festival on Tuesday and was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital by ambulance.
He was detained for further observation but has now been released.
"He's fine, he's resting but he won't be racing today," said a spokeswoman for Mr McCririck.
Another Irish jockey, Davy Russell, also spent a night in hospital after suffering a punctured lung, The Times said. He was kicked after falling from Un Beau Matin on Wednesday and had his lung drained on Thursday.
More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the four-day race meeting, which is one of the highlights of the National Hunt season.
Gate receipts are estimated to reach £7m and bookmakers are anticipating a record-breaking year with industry turnover tipped to surpass the £600m barrier.
what do you think?
Is the horse OK
It says in the article the horse was unhurt
The horse is okay and I will pass on your thoughts to the jockeys family
It was the jockey's choice to ride malkie and knew the risks, the horse had no such luxury.
Valerie its your choice to go out in a car you know the risk does that mean if you have a car crash you deserve no sympathy?
Errm pat it goes without saying that we have sympathy for the jockey but I still reiterate that it was his choice, just as we humans make choices every day what we do but the horse did not have that choice and so I think it deserves sympathy as well. Simples
Well Valerie for me it goes without saying that there is concern for the horse but it did say in the article that he was unhurt this is an article about a man fighting for his life i think if you are going to comment you should at least wish him well not jump up and down about no one cares about the horse when its clearly stated the horse is ok. I know him personally and was offended by your lack of thought for JT and if you think that JT would wish any harm on any horse you don't know much about him. I understand you may not have meant your comment to sound so heartless towards him but it did. There is a time and a place for having a go about him but it did. there is a time and a place to debate the rights and wrongs of racing this is not it.
Pat, pat Calm down you'll get blood pressure. Nowhere in my comments have I disrespected the jockey so just go and lie down and have a drink of cocoa