THE wife of injured leading amateur jockey JT McNamara was keeping a bedside vigil, as jockeys, trainers and owners sent their wishes and prayers for his recovery.
Father-of-three McNamara (37) was seriously injured when the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Galaxy Rock fell in a race at Cheltenham Festival on Thursday.
His wife, Caroline, and mother, Kathleen, were understood to be at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, yesterday after he was airlifted there from the track.
The Irish Turf Club senior medical officer, Dr Adrian McGoldrick said last night that the jockey had undergone surgery after fracturing two vertebrae in his neck. "The surgery was successful and he's still in an induced coma," he said.
The jockey, who lives in Bruree in Co Limerick, rides for trainer Enda Bolger.
Speaking after his horse At Fishers Cross won the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle race, an emotional JP McManus was emotional said: "It doesn't seem right to celebrate it after JT McNamara. His family, they are all in our thoughts, we just hope and pray he gets better."
Mr McManus is understood to have sent a helicopter to pick up Mr McNamara's wife and mother to bring them to Dublin Airport so they could fly to the UK.
Former agriculture minister Joe Walsh, who recently retired his post as chairman of Horse Sport Ireland described jockeys as the "bravest of the brave".
"Travelling in the middle of 22 horses at 37mph, you need to be as tough as teak," he said.