Champion jockey JT McNamara laid to rest

JT McNamara is survived by his wife Caroline, and their children Dylan, Harry and Olivia. Credit: PA

Champion jockey John Thomas McNamara has been laid to rest in Co Limerick.

The 41-year-old died this week from complications arising out of extensive injuries he suffered in a fall at the Cheltenham Racing Festival in 2013.

Hundreds of people, including members of the racing fraternity, joined JT’s family at the funeral mass in Manister on Friday morning.

Familiar faces from the world of Irish horse-racing were the hundreds of mourners at St Michael’s Church in Manister.

The 41-year-old’s riding crop and helmet were offered as gifts and the congregation heard how JT’s life revolved around his family and racing.

He had been left paralysed after falling from Galaxy Rock at Cheltenham in 2013.

Jockey Ruby Walsh said: “\[It’s\] any jockey’s worst nightmare come true and I guess wherever he is, at least he’s not suffering anymore.

“Cheltenham three and a half years ago was a very sad day as well. His determination, his mental strength and his willpower for the three and a half years have been incredible, but so too have Caroline’s and all his family’s.”

AP McCoy said: "I can remember looking over and seeing his clothes hanging up in the weigh room and thinking he’s probably never coming back here again."

Canon Garry Bluett stated: “After a long struggle he has gone back to his creator who receives him with open arms after he had run the race and finished the course.”

JT won many races in the silks of racehorse owner JP McManus.

Mr McManus said: “He didn’t die in vain in that so much good came out of it. So many people will be so much better off in the future, so many people who have injuries.”

During the mass Mr McNamara's wife Caroline thanked the Turf Club, Injured Jockeys Club and Injured Jockeys UK for their support, and paid a loving tribute to her straight-talking husband.

She said: “He was straight, witty, honest, and extremely direct, none more so than on the birth of our second child Harry.

"He was more concerned on how long the labour would be as he needed to be in Punchestown that afternoon to ride Lami.”JT McNamara is survived by his wife Caroline, and their children Dylan, Harry and Olivia.

He was laid to rest in the cemetery at Manister Church.