It was one year ago today that the bad news came. After months of “good news” circulating in the press, few had noticed that the great Barbaro’s health had taken a significant turn south again. It came then as a surprise as the emotional news conference broke which announced that America’s horse had passed. The news hit me especially hard. I grew up in Elkton, MD, and the Fair Hill training center that Barbaro had frequented was literally within walking distance from my house. The idea that a horse that had achieved the super-star status that comes with a victory in the Kentucky Derby could have shared that small space of earth with me seemed larger than life.
In May of 2006, just two weeks after winning the Kentucky Derby and taking the horse racing world by storm, Barbaro suffered one of the most horrific injuries in the history of sports. Most everyone is familiar with the tear jerking story by now. The young colt fought on valiantly as the “catastrophic injuries” he had sustained that would ultimately cost him his life necessitated surgery after surgery until owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson mercifully agreed that Dr. Dean Richardson had done enough. The decision was made. It was time to put the great horse down. Read the rest of this entry »