SOME of the most famous faces from the world of horse racing are set to show their support for injured Limerick jockey JT McNamara when they attend a charity evening at Cheltenham Racecourse on June 15, organised in his honour.
The team at Jackdaws Castle in Gloucestershire have joined forces with Cheltenham Racecourse to host a fundraising evening in aid of JT and his family.
The Croom man was seriously injured in a fall during the Cheltenham Festival last March. He continues to receive treatment at the spinal unit of Dublin’s Mater Hospital.
Sophia Upton who is organising the event with her colleague at Jackdaws Castle, Adele O’Brian, said the support for JT and his family has been “amazing”.
“Things have gone really well, we are up to ticket limits now,” Sophia told the Leader this Tuesday.
“We have sold 400 tickets and we have got over 45 auctions lots in, that closed today.”
Companies, racecourses and high-profile horse owners have donated prizes for the night and many leading jockeys have offered to help in any way they can.
One of the auction prizes up for grabs is a round of golf with AP McCoy and Mick Fitzgerald.
“There have been a few donations sent over from Ireland including paintings. There are a few people coming over from Ireland as well,” Sophia continued. “We have had support from across Ireland as well as England. It is quite interesting, it is not only racing people who have contacted us about the evening, it has touched a lot of people. There has been amazing support.”
While the evening promises to be a real fun occasion, JT, Sophia said, will never be too far from people’s thoughts. “We have got a lot of entertainment lined up and fantastic bands. The auction is the main thing and even though we are all going to have a wonderful night, we are not going to forget why we are doing it.”
The team as Jackdaws Castle have been keeping JT’s wife, Caroline, up-to-date on plans for the event and it is anticipated that family members and friends from County Limerick will make the trip to Cheltenham for the occasion. “All the tables are named after horses that JT has ridden through his career,” Sophia explained.
“He is aware of what’s going on. There will also be footage of his riding. It’s a team effort and it is out of respect for JT that we are doing it.”
Trainer Jonjo O’Neill and his team at Jackdaws Castle which is located outside Cheltenham have a very close relationship with JT. The amateur jockey was riding the Jonjo-trained Galaxy Rock at Cheltenham when he fell and sustained his back injury.
The fundraiser will take place in the Gold Cup Suite at Cheltenham Racecourse from 7.30pm on Saturday, June 15. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information or to donate.