A FUNDRAISING night in aid of injured jockey JT McNamara has raised over â‚¬100,000, with Limerickâ€™s JP McManus paying Â£20,000 for a painting of the Croom man aboard one of his horses.
A sell-out crowd of 430 packed into the Gold Cup room of Cheltenham Racecourse on Saturday night for the fundraising event.
Among those in attendance were well-known personalities from the racing world including JP McManus, trainer Jonjo Oâ€™Neill, champion jockey AP McCoy, and jockeys-turned-pundits John Francome and Mick Fitzgerald.
Family and friends of JT also made the trip to Cheltenham including his wife Caroline, close friend Mikey Joe Cregan from Athlacca, Danny Oâ€™Connell from Bansha, Sarah Birmingham from Enda Bolgerâ€™s stables in Bruree and contractor Henry Barry from Banogue.
During the auction, JP McManus paid Â£20,000 for a painting of JT aboard one of his horses.
Going to Post in oil on canvas was painted by a cousin of JT, Ester Barrett of the Three Sisters Gallery in Granagh.
JT who was seriously injured in a fall from one of Jonjo Oâ€™Neillâ€™s horses at the Cheltenham Festival in March, and his wife Caroline showed their appreciation of the support they have received, in a message to guests in the event programme.
â€œI would like to thank everyone who put such a lot of time and effort into organising this great event, especially Cheltenham Racecourse and all the team at Jackdaws Castle,â€ it read.
â€œI would also like to thank everybody for taking the time to come out this evening to support John (JT). It means so much to John and I to know you are all rooting for him to get well.
â€œJohn is currently in the spinal unit of the Mater Hospital in Dublin where his main goal is to wean himself off ventilation. John is very determined to achieve this goal.
â€œFor those of you who know John personally, you will know that his determination is unparalleled.
â€œItâ€™s been a long road to date and thereâ€™s a long road ahead but knowing that we have so much love and support from all our family, friends and everyone in the racing community and beyond will no doubt continue to keep Johnâ€™s spirits high during these difficult times and will help him tremendously on his road to recovery.
â€œThe immense support that John has received since his accident is overwhelming and has truly touched our hearts and we want to say a heartfelt â€˜thank youâ€™ to everyone for their kind words and warm wishes.â€
The team at Jackdaws Castle in Gloucestershire joined forces with Cheltenham Racecourse to host the fundraising evening in aid of JT and his family.
Sophia Upton, who organised the event with her colleague at Jackdaws Castle, Adelle Oâ€™Brien, said the support for JT and his family has been â€œamazingâ€.
â€œThe real final figures arenâ€™t in but at the moment we will be looking at a figure of at least Â£90,000,â€ said Sophia of the money that has been raised from the event.
Each of the tables at the function were named after horses that JT has ridden through his career.
Footage was also played of JT enjoying his racing successes.
Trainer Jonjo Oâ€™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 on March 14. Jonjo Oâ€™Neillâ€™s staff were decked out in racing silks as they helped out at the fundraiser.