Sir Anthony McCoy: has paid tribute to JT McNamara
By Tony O’Hehir 4:07PM 26 JUL 2016
SIR ANTHONY McCOY has paid an emotional tribute to “brilliant rider” JT McNamara after the top amateur jockey died at the age of 41.
McNamara, who like McCoy was a regular in owner JP McManus’s famous green and gold silks, was paralysed after suffering a broken neck in a fall on Galaxy Rock at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
“JT should be remembered as the brilliant rider that he was as his ride on Rith Dubh to win the National Hunt four-mile chase at Cheltenham in 2002 was as good as I have ever seen or will ever see,” said McCoy.
‘Tactically astute and very strong in the saddle’
“He was the epitome of what a horseman should want to be as he was very bright, tactically astute and very strong in the saddle. He also had the greatest knowledge of a horse which greatly helped when it came to tactics in a race.
“It’s very sad the way that fate conspired against him and I still recall the details of that horrible day at Cheltenham in 2013 after his fall, because 24 hours later I just did not want to be there at all.
“Even now I still see his clothes that day hanging on his peg in the jockeys’ changing room with his shirt on top, and the realisation that he would not be coming back into that room. That is a memory that will definitely never leave me.
“I spoke to JT on the phone around ten days ago and he seemed as alert as ever and we had a good conversation about one of JP’s horses as he was still as mentally strong and maintained a keen interest in all aspects of racing.
“He had a great family behind him and my condolences, along with those of my family, go out to his loving and most amazing wife Caroline and their three children Dylan, Harry and Olivia.”