February 10, 2007 by

Barbaro

7 comments

Categories: Sports

barbaro.jpgBarbaro, the winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby, was euthanized on Jan. 29. He was 3 years old.
Sired by stallion Dynaformer, Barbaro was foaled on April 29, 2003. He was raised by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, a married couple who own about 70 racehorses, broodmares and yearlings. The Jacksons have been in the horse business for three decades and operate the 190-acre Lael Farm in West Grove, Pa.
Trained by Michael Matz and ridden by jockey Edgar Prado, Barbaro earned $2.3 million over the course of his short, professional racing career. He won the Laurel Futurity in 2005 and the Florida Derby in 2006, and was undefeated going into the 2006 Kentucky Derby. In a field of 20 horses, Barbaro was the second choice of the betting public with 6:1 odds. During the last turn, however, he charged ahead and won the race by 7 lengths. This margin of victory was the largest at the Kentucky Derby since 1946, when Triple Crown winner Assault took the “Run for the Roses” by eight lengths. Barbaro was the sixth undefeated horse to win the Kentucky Derby.
Two weeks later, Barbaro entered the Preakness Stakes as the heavy favorite. He began the race with a false start when his nose disengaged the magnetically locked gate bars. After being led back around the gates, the race started and Barbaro’s life changed forever. Just a few strides in, Prado pulled the stumbling horse away from the pack and off to the side of the track. Barbaro was limping and doctors soon learned he had fractured three bones in and around the ankle of his right hind leg. Cause of the injury is unknown, but it effectively ruined any chance of a Triple Crown win and ended his racing career.
Barbaro was rushed to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center near Philadelphia where he underwent a five-hour operation to repair the damage. Over the next eight months, he endured two dozen more surgeries and suffered a series of complications, including laminitis in the left rear hoof, an abscess in the right rear hoof and laminitis in both front feet. Fans from all over the world responded to the horse’s injuries by sending thousands of cards, flowers and gifts.
In the end, the pain became too much for Barbaro. He wasn’t healing properly and he wouldn’t lie down and sleep for two straight nights. At that point, the colt’s owners met with Dr. Dean Richardson, chief of surgery at the New Bolton Center, and agreed to have him euthanized.
“It’s not easy to ever put an animal down and make that decision. It’s very hard. And he’s given us so much joy, and you still envision the Kentucky Derby winner every time you see him. That’s what is so hard. It wasn’t easy; we just tried to do the best we can by him,” Gretchen Jackson said.
The Jacksons have yet to decide where Barbaro’s ashes will be buried. One Florida racetrack plans to honor him by establishing a Barbaro scholarship for a student studying veterinary medicine at the University of Florida. The Barbaro Memorial Fund was also created to raise money for laminitis research.
Listen to a Tribute From NPR
Watch Barbaro win the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby
Watch Barbaro’s Accident at the Preakness
[Update – Jan. 30, 2008: Barbaro’s ashes and a bronze statue will be placed in front of an entrance gate at Churchill Downs sometime in 2009.]

7 Responses to Barbaro

  1. myrna krohn

    If you look into Barbaro’s eye you can see the great heart that he had. It’s something that can’t be bred into a horse, some of them just have it. For those who know, this is the horse who will touch your heart, and it’s a once in a life time experience.

  2. Amy

    I loved Barbaro and he was champion. He will always been in my heart and i hope one day to see him in real-life. Rest In Peace
    Love you Always Barbaro, Amy

  3. cayla tabb

    i would like to pay my respect to everybody who helped barbaro.BARBARO WILL FOREVER LIVE IN MY HEART!!! HE HAS A SPECIAL PLACE IN IT!!!!!!!! I LOVED THAT HORSE I CRIED FOR AT LEAST A WEEK WHEN HE DIED!!!!!!!!! HE WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU BARBARO RUN FREE AND WILD IN GOD’S PASTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. j reynolds

    I watched the Kentucky Derby and knew from the start that this horse was a winner. Being in the horse industry for over 35 years just looking at him – you knew he was special. The Preakness Stakes a sad and tragic day – the day we should have been celebrating another great victory by this horse – not watching this magnificent steed being put in an ambulance after shattering a leg.
    The what if’s or why did this have to happen is still fresh in my mind. I like millions of others followed Barbaro’s progress through the months and even though I too thought it a long shot, miracles do happen. Time does mend a broken heart, and the memories of Barbaro will be, but he is running his greatest race for all of heaven’s fans to see!

  5. Kayla

    that is sad what happen to Barbaro but it was their foult because Barbaro was trying to tell them and it even said in the book that he was acting strang.

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