Tribute to Barbaro, Kentucky Derby Winner Euthanized … A Horses Struggle Showed Our Humanity, Rest in Peace


 Tribute to Barbaro … The Horse, the Champion that brought out the best in our humanity

How we face adversity, whether if we win or lose is how we are remembered.

Barbaro, the horse who reminded us what it meant to be human

Usually its a horses victories and accomplishments that draws our attention to them. The media over-hyping a young thoroughbred or its un-defeated record. Never has the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat been played out in horse racing as Barbaro’s eight month struggle to survive. It captured the hearts and minds of many who have never watched horse racing because it symbolized a greater picture. It was not Barbaro’s invincibility that captured people’s hearts, it was his vulnerability. People prayed for Barbaro to recover. Alas, the fight became too much to bear for both horse and humans Monday morning when Barbaro was humanely euthanized.

Barbaro’s struggle to mend itself and the positive and negative setbacks along the way was aBarbaro metaphor for our own person struggles in everyday life whether it be with work, family or our own person tragedies that we deal with. Barbaro brought forth something to us that horse racing and sports could never do and was the reason why so many followed and cared that he get well. Barbaro brought forth our humanity.

There have been many articles written that have stated he will be remember as the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner and potential Triple crown winner. The truth of the matter is Barbaro’s career ending injury in The Preakness made him more endeared than any Triple Crown winner could have ever been. His struggle and recent death gave Barbaro a human quality not seen even by present day baseball, football and basketball athletes.

Scholarship Started in Barbaro’s Name

Major events in Barbaro’s racing life, recovery Time line

It is being discussed that Barbaro’s final resting place may be the sight of his greatest victory, Churchill Downs.


The fight that Barbaro and those that tended to him could teach us all a lesson. No matter how dominating one may be, it all could end in a fleeting moment. The struggle to survive and the problems we face and how we face them define us. How we face adversity, whether if we win or lose is how we are remembered. Barbaro reminded us of that very special quality. Rest in Peace.

Posted January 30, 2007 by
Celebrity, Obituary, Personal, Sports | 24 comments

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  • Comments

    24 Responses to “Tribute to Barbaro, Kentucky Derby Winner Euthanized … A Horses Struggle Showed Our Humanity, Rest in Peace”

    1. Miss-Underestimated on January 30th, 2007 2:38 pm

      Barbaro, gave it all he had.
      If you look at the photos, you can see a physical change in Barbaro after the accident and subsequent sugeries.

      It is amazing what animals can do in order to survive and what people will do to assist them.

    2. Scared Monkeys on January 30th, 2007 2:42 pm

      In the face of adversity its amazing what animal and people are capable of.

      Barbaro fought the good fight.

    3. Sunny on January 30th, 2007 3:00 pm

      Barbaro gave it his all and in doing so taught we mortals lessons in courage, love and humanity….

    4. Patti on January 30th, 2007 3:07 pm

      No one could have said it any better…

      What a wonderfully written article!

    5. LilPuma on January 30th, 2007 4:47 pm

      As I listen to the interviews, analysis and hype of the upcoming Superbowl, I’m reminded that we have lost a phenomenal athlete in Barbaro. No talking smack, no bravado, no steroids, no cheating, no ego. He just loved to run and he wanted to be out front. Period. I have to smile and wonder if there is a heaven for horses and what he and Secretariat might be talking about.

    6. LilPuma on January 30th, 2007 4:58 pm

      I see they added “Run for the Roses” to the video. My favorite line is “it’s breeding and it’s training and it’s SOMETHING UNKNOWN, that drives you and carries you home.”

      That “something unknown” is, I believe, what the author of this article is talking about. Barbaro had it. He had it long after he couldn’t race. He carried it home.

    7. Scared Monkeys on January 30th, 2007 5:15 pm

      LilPuma ;)

      There is a special quality that separates.

      Its like the motto, that we learn more from defeat than from victory.

      The true test of character is how we face adversity. As I have stated, we may not always win the battle … but how one faces such things defines us for an eternity.

    8. Maggie on January 30th, 2007 5:19 pm

      My second love in life is animals. I’ve worked to help rehabilitate babies without the mothers and hurt animals to nurse them back to life and go back to the wild in the past. Losing one is no different then losing a family member. you get so attached. Such a sad ending for such a beautiful animal.

    9. Scared Monkeys on January 30th, 2007 5:43 pm

      While growing up I owned and rode horses and on many occasions took a tumble or two off them while rising a bit too fast. I have had friends who have show jumped horses and made it to Nationals. They are amazing creatures … and just want to naturally run.

      To be up close to them, one really gains a sense of just how beautiful they really are.


    10. mayan_moons on January 30th, 2007 8:06 pm

      Wow Red….that sounds like heaven to me, growing up with horses. Creature’s so noble and to me they are one of this worlds most majestic animals.

      It saddened me to think of it being put to sleep but its true…..i cannot take it when animals (people too) suffer.

    11. yoyo muffintop on January 30th, 2007 9:05 pm

      Everything written in the above article – take out “Barbaro” and plug in “MLK Jr”. Yet nothing written about one of our greatest americans, MLK Jr, on MLK Day?


      SM: Does the term go suck eggs mean anything to you? Must be amazing to lead such a miserable life that you feel the need to be negative about everything.

      Why must you be miserable about everything you comment? What did you write about that day? You know the difference between you and MLK, he would not have whined like you do.

      I guess it is about the content of one’s character.

    12. Joanie on January 30th, 2007 9:25 pm

      Just a question to everyone; Saw someone on one of the news channels call this beautiful animal a “hero’. Now, I agree that Barbaro was just a wonderful sight to see and a pleasure to watch, but should he be called a ‘HERO”? He never saved anyone from a buring house or fought for the freedoms we all hold so dear. He made people happy – he made me happy just watching him….but a HERO?! Any comment is appreciated.

    13. Horse Whisperer on January 30th, 2007 9:30 pm

      I am one of the fortunate people who lives and works with horses everyday. Barbaro’s fight to survive was valiant of course, but would not have been necessary but for the greed of the horse industry that claims to love horses so much. Racing, cutting, reining. western pleasure and other competitions aimed at humans winning something always makes the horse pay in the end. From breeding and pushing immature colts and fillys beyond their limits, it’s the unfortunate horse that ends up with a lifetime of pain or worse as in Barbaros case. Will it change? Greed rarely does, but there are a few who refuse to abuse their horses. We hope we can make a difference. Lesser known barbaros happen nearly everday in the horse industry.

    14. whytegirl on January 30th, 2007 10:24 pm

      I felt so sad when I found out…may the Lord and Spirit reward their owners sixfold for all the hard work done, and I hope that they are blessed with another loyal Spirit warrior.

      You will hurt no more Barbaro, for you are one with Spirit and you’re thankful and glad that you passed on. Relief is great, and your love for your owners is outstanding. I trust you will keep a watchful eye on Mom and Dad and give them signs that somehow, somewhere you are around.

      Run wild and free!

      In the meantime, Make-A-Wish made a little girl with cancer very happy in Puerto Rico when her dream came true: she got to ride a blue pony.

      Here’s the link to the pic (sorry article is in Spanish-run a web translator). If you wanna see a BIG My Little Pony this is it!

    15. LilPuma on January 30th, 2007 11:15 pm

      13. Excellent point, Horse Whisperer. True also of dog races.
      I’ll also add that if you watch the races, remember as they treat the owners and trainers as the winners, that it is the horse that trained, the horse that ran and whether first or last, the horse is the one who crossed the finish line.

    16. yoyo muffintop on January 30th, 2007 11:46 pm

      Joanie – not a hero, but a great come back story. Barbaro was in a sense like Man O’ War, War Admiral, Seabiscuit, Alleysheba & Secretariat – he could run really really fast.
      As for the owners – I think they had the best intentions at heart, but they were also protecting their investment.
      Real tough call when there is millions of $$$s involved.

    17. Susan on January 31st, 2007 1:07 am

      I’d like to see more commentary like that of Horse Whisperer make the headlines for a change, but that’s unlikely. I stopped watching horse racing years ago when my childlike innocence gave way to educated rage at the reality of the horse racing industry. I love horses. I couldn’t help but be caught up in the love and prayers and hope that Barbaro would somehow survive this travesty that our greed and need for entertainment had brought down on him. Why can’t we find a more humane way to interact with and enjoy these beautiful, glorious creatures!

    18. whytegirl on January 31st, 2007 8:25 am

      I was taken to El Comandante in Rio Grande, Puerto
      Rico, where there are horse races. I was pre-teen and there was a party in one of the stables. I cringed every time I saw the horses’ rears, with no coat and just skin and bruises from all the whipping. I touched one horse very gently in that section and he felt it so that he went to the end of his stable.

      I am in my 30s and I still remember that day very vividly. I went back home for a weekend vacation and got to ride two horses, one in training and one Paso Fino. Hope I can go back soon for another ride!

    19. Nut44x4 on January 31st, 2007 8:37 am

      Beautiful Red…….Thanks for posting this.

    20. Horse Whisperer on January 31st, 2007 8:40 am

      There is much more unfortunate treatment of horses in the horse “business”. This is not an advertisement, but if you would like to see what we and some others are about, please stop by our website at Remember, it’s all about treating the horse with respect and with the attitude that we do not own these horses. They do what we ask because there nature is to want to get along with us. We can do it either with force and fear based training techniques, or by learning their equine language and actually communicating with them.

    21. postahchild on January 31st, 2007 2:37 pm

      Lovely post, SM.

    22. Joanie on January 31st, 2007 6:46 pm

      YO YO Muffintop….
      Thanks for the commentary. I was just kinda uncomfortable with Barbaro being called a ‘hero’ by the one TV News channel. I think “INSPIRATION” may have been a better choise of a descriptive term. I was very sad when I heard he had been put to sleep. What a beautiful animal he was. I am not a fan of horse racing for this very reason. Maybe we should have horse beauty and talent contests instead. Showcase the beauty of these animals instead of seeing how much faster one can gallop than the other!

    23. blah on October 29th, 2007 12:52 pm

      he slipped,he died,he gave it his all

    24. 134th Running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs … Remembering Barbaro | Scared Monkeys on May 3rd, 2008 12:36 pm

      [...] race horse to a national icon and became a part of all of us. In the daily struggles of our lives, Barbaro brought out the best in all of us and reminded us what it means to be human.  Barbaro will always be remembered in Derby and horse racing lore. However, he touched so many [...]

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