Barbaro: Thanks For All You Did Barbaro's death has deeply saddened not only those of us at the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, but, it seems, everyone. The support the public has shown this horse throughout his heroic battle has been a central part of the Barbaro story. People have cheered on the days when the news was good and wept on the days when the news was bad. Grief was everywhere Jan. 29, the day he was euthanized.
We thank Barbaro, and not just for what he did on the racetrack or for the memories, but for how he brought out the horse lover in so many of us. After this gripping story, never again can it be said that people don't care about the welfare of horses, be they famous Thoroughbreds or just an anonymous horse out in a field somewhere.
True to form, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the remarkable couple that owned this horse, wanted to stress the positives Monday when addressing the media after it was announced that Barbaro had been put down. Horse lovers themselves, they understood that much good can come from the Barbaro story.
"Certainly, grief is the price we all pay for love," Gretchen Jackson said. "I am sure there are a lot of grieving people out there. A lot of them have contacted me and I am so very appreciative of that. I hope we can turn our love into an energy that supports horses throughout the world. Not just in our own country and not just the thoroughbred we love so dearly, but all horses. Each of us might find a certain path that interests us. Whatever it is, I just pray that you will follow that path in support of the horse."
Said Roy Jackson: "An awful lot of positives came out of this. Veterinary medicine has learned a great deal by this and the general public has been educated about veterinary medicine. There have been a whole host of subjects that have come to light because of this, like the anti-slaughter bill and helping people on the backstretch. Our hope is that some of these issues won't die and will continue be brought up and acted upon in a positive way."
We share those sentiments. As an organization that has worked tirelessly for more than 20 years on behalf of retired race horses and has saved thousands from going to slaughter, we have always known how much people care about horses, but have sometimes been frustrated by how the problem of caring for retired thoroughbreds has not gotten the attention we feel it deserves.
We ask now that people who are saddened by Barbaro's death do just what Gretchen Jackson suggested and do something on behalf of these beautiful creatures. That can include a donation to our organization. We need your help to care for the more than 1,300 horses living at our numerous farms and satellite facilities and to rescue even more horses from slaughter. But it doesn't have to be a donation to the TRF. Please pick any equine related charity. They all need help. Or adopt a retired Thoroughbred. Many make excellent show horses or just great pets. Or just write a letter to Dr. Dean Richardson at the New Bolton hospital and thank him for his heroic efforts to save Barbaro.
Our condolences go out to everyone involved with Barbaro at this sad time and we thank them for their efforts on his behalf and, quite simply, for how much they cared. We will do our small part Feb. 2 in Wellington, Florida. We had previously planned a fundraiser for that night in which Barbaro was to be honored along with his trainer, Michael Matz. The event will still go on as planned. For more information about the TRF or the party, you can contact us in our Saratoga offices at 518-226-0028.
Source: Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation- TRF