McManus: JT was a fine role model for young amateurs

Rith Dubh - Mr J.T.McNamara

JT McNamara riding Rith Dubh to victory in the famous McManus silks

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham ( 

JP McMANUS was among those who paid tribute on Tuesday to former amateur rider JT McNamara who has died at the age of 41, saying that the jockey was a fine example to other amateurs.

The leading owner enjoyed a long and close relationship with the jockey, who often donned the famous green and gold silks and rode many McManus-owned horses to victory.

“He didn’t drink or smoke and was a fine role model for young amateurs, who looked up to him so much,” said McManus. “The more one got to know him, the more one loved him. He was very direct and never used two words if one would do.”

One of the great Festival rides

McNamara’s skilled handling of Rith Dubh in the 2002 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival was a ride displaying all of his horsemanship, and McManus on Tuesday extolled McNamara’s qualities in and out of the saddle.

“We enjoyed many successes together on the track,” said McManus. “While he was a very forceful rider, he was also excellent at cajoling a horse to produce his best when that was necessary. His winning ride on Rith Dubh in the National Hunt Chase was a wonderful example and will be remembered as one of the great Cheltenham Festival rides.”

McManus also seemed confident that his death is not the end of the JT McNamara story.

“I suppose in many ways his legacy will be that he didn’t die in vain,” he said. “Because of the dreadful injuries he suffered, a lot of good things followed as a result. Other badly injured riders have benefited and will continue to do so in terms of facilities and services, and there is now a much greater awareness among the public of what can happen to riders.”

Read more of an emotional tribute to JT McNamara in Wednesday’s Racing Post.

The edition also includes Alastair Down’s reflection on an “extraordinarily instinctive horseman”


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