Remembering Barbaro: Two Years LaterPublished January 29, 2009
Yesterday marked the second anniversary of a tragedy which will long be remembered. It seems like it was just yesterday that the world came together to mourn the loss of Barbaro, an iconic racehorse.
Both his owners, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Jackson, and his courageous Veterinarian, Dr. Dean Richardson listened to Barbaro and knew that there was nothing more that could be done to give this courageous equine athlete the pain-free quality of life that they valiantly strived to achieve.
This final act of love was performed peacefully, with Barbaro surrounded by those who loved him deeply.
There is something magical about the soul and spirit horses that have deeply touched our hearts. Horses have courageously carried soldiers into battle, entrusting their lives to their mounts. Horses are also trustworthy companions to both children and adults involved in the joy of equestrian sports, which are so popular today. Therapeutic horseback riding for people with a wide range of disabilities has recently come into the forefront as a successful mode of treatment.
So what is it about horses that magnetically draw us to them, inspiring the wide array of books, movies, plays and artwork featuring these magnificent creatures? What motivates us to capture their essence?
While many people have not experienced a personal relationship with a horse, or in fact have had close contact with one, horses seem to have the capacity to cast a powerful spell upon us.
Anyone who doubts that such a spell can be cast needs only remember the opening moments of the 2006 Preakness Stakes, the second leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. Barbaro, the odds-on favorite to run away with the race, was also the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner. Tragically, his race ended just seconds out of the gate after shattering his right hind leg. That accident might have been the end of Barbaro's story, but of course that was not the case. A powerful phenomenon began as suddenly as that unforeseen accident. People who had never even given a thought to a race horse, let alone Barbaro, gathered around the world to pray for his recovery.
Eduardo Hernandez grooming Barbaro
What prompted this huge outpouring of concern and prayer to begin within hours following Barbaro's injury? What funded the growing depth of feeling and support that grew, not only for Barbaro, but the growing awareness of the plight of all abandoned, injured and needy horses that needed our protection? Several focused networks quickly began building through the Internet, as total strangers gathered together, forming groups with the mission to save those horses from needless suffering.
I was personally deeply affected the moment Barbaro was injured. As I searched the Internet daily for updates about his condition, I became swept up in a truly amazing experience; sharing the depth of feeling with people I had never met, who openly displayed their love for Barbaro, his breeder/owners, his trainer, and the incredibly skilled veterinarians who worked feverishly to try to save him. Even people who had never watched a horse race became involved and he world came together to pray and honor a fallen hero.
And as I write this tribute in memory of Barbaro, It still remains difficult for me without tears welling up in my eyes, even though two years have passed. Along with countless Barbaro lovers, I will always remember his undaunting powerful spirit which inspired us so deeply. Barbaro has touched our hearts forever. His essence lives on in each horse that has been saved, and in every horse that is now loved and protected by the dedicated work which continues by the "Fans of Barbaro."
As Barbaro gallops freely and joyfully at the Rainbow Bridge, we are powerfully aware that as he looks down upon those of us who love and remember him on this day that he is joyful knowing that the "Barbaro Effect" lives on with each and every one of these horses.
Watch this beautiful tribute uploaded to YouTube by TxLady4485:
How did Barbaro affect you? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
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