Jockey JT McNamara, seriously injured in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this month, has expressed his gratitude for the support he has received as it was publicly confirmed he has been left paralysed.

The 37-year-old amateur was injured following a fall in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup and had to be airlifted to Bristol, where he remains, although plans are to be made for a transfer to Dublin in due course.

A statement issued jointly by Dr Adrian McGoldrick, ITurf Club Senior Medical Officer and Lisa Hancock, CEO, Injured Jockeys Fund, on behalf of the McNamara family read: "JT McNamara remains in the Frenchay Hospital, Bristol. Whilst he suffered a serious neck injury resulting in paralysis, he has made progress in the last week and is in a very positive frame of mind.

"He is greatly appreciative of the many messages, cards and letters received and also wishes to thank the Frenchay Hospital who are looking after him so well." 

McNamara is famed for his prowess as a point-to-point rider and in cross-country races at Cheltenham and Punchestown, enjoying tremendous success in the colours of owner JP McManus on the likes of Spot Thedifference.

Paul Struthers, chief excutive of the Professional Jockeys Association, tweeted: "Awful news with confirmation of the extent of JT's injuries. The risks faced/sacrifices made by our brave boys & girls face to entertain us."

The Jockey Club tweeted: "We echo the sentiments expressed across our sport & beyond, and send our very best wishes to JT McNamara & those dear to him."