JT McNamara: Injured jockey has surgery on fractured spine

JT McNamara

Injured jockey JT McNamara is in a stable condition after having an operation for a fractured spine on Friday, following a fall at the Cheltenham Festival.

The amateur jockey injured the C3 and C4 vertebrae in his neck, according to Dr Adrian McGoldrick, chief medical officer of the Irish Turf Club.

McNamara was thrown from his mount on Thursday and airlifted to hospital.

The Irishman remains in an induced coma in Bristol's Frenchay Hospital.

The jockey, from Limerick, was badly hurt when Galaxy Rock, trained locally in Gloucestershire by Jonjo O'Neill, fell at the first fence in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

A joint statement issued by Dr McGoldrick and Lisa Hancock, chief executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund, on behalf of the McNamara family, said: "We can report that following lengthy surgery yesterday JT McNamara is in a stable condition."

It added McNamara's family would "like to thank everyone for their kind support and best wishes for JT".

McNamara's wife Caroline flew to Bristol on Friday to be at his bedside in intensive care.

Speaking on the same day, Hancock told BBC Sport: "JT's wife and her brother arrived at Bristol Airport at about 8am and we were able to link up with them there.

"We are now at the hospital with them and will help them with what they need, with accommodation for the next few nights or whatever."

McNamara has won four races previously at the festival.

The Injured Jockeys' Fund is a charity which helps the families of riders hurt in falls.

Hancock added: "With this particular case we are working closely with the Irish Turf Club and their senior medical officer.

"We can't do much on the medical front but as a general support, we can help. It's a dreadful time for all concerned and if we can just help by taking a bit of pressure off."