VIDEO: Bionic suit allows paralysed jockey Jonjo Bright ‘step into the unknown’

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Jonjo Bright, a jockey from Antrim who suffered severe injuries from a fall two years ago, is benefiting from an exoskeleton bionic suit purchased by the Irish Injured Jockeys (IIJ).

IIJ announced today they have purchased the suit to help with the rehabilitation of injured riders who have suffered lower extremity paralysis.

Video courtesy of Irish Horse TV

The investment was made some time ago and the suit has been in situ in Neurokinex in Co. Antrim, near Jonjo’s home, for the past number of weeks.

The jockey, who was 19 at the time, suffered serious spinal injury at the C3 and C4 level in a fall at Tyrella Point to Point in March 2013.

Jonjo is the first jockey to use this piece of equipment. The suit enables him to stand in an upright position and to use his own body weight to walk in the machine with the guidance of a physio trained in Ekso Bionics also funded by the IIJ.

The suit has had major and immediate positive effects in terms of breathing and blood pressure whilst reducing muscle wastage, increasing bone density and like any form of exercise the endorphins it helps produce have superb psychological benefits also.

Speaking at a private demonstration Jonjo Bright said “In a way we are exploring the unknown….it’s massive that the Irish Injured jockeys have bought this piece of equipment, this is what I was dreaming of. It allows me to literally step into the unknown”.

Jonjo Bright using the Exoskeleton.

Ruby Walsh, Chairman of Irish Injured Jockeys said: “It is important that people know that Irish Injured Jockeys is 100% funded by public donations and fundraising events, without this support we simply could not support our injured jockeys efficiently”.

At Galway Races, Champion Flat Jockey and IIJ Director, Pat Smullen commented “Enhancing the care and support given to jockeys is central to our purpose and the driving force behind everything IIJ does”.

If you would like to make a donation to the fund you can do so at

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