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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pure of Heart

- Roy and Gretchen Jackson, along with Dr. Dean Richardson, were on the Larry King show last night, and what will it take for horse racing to ever be the main subject on that show again? Mr. Jackson said that Barbaro's dam, La Ville Rouge, is back in foal to Dynaformer. Her future foal, as well as her yearling Dynaformer colt, will most likely be named for foxhounds in a family painting, as was Barbaro. [Bloodhorse]

Joe Drape, writing in the NY Times, relates that: Several horsemen estimated that the Jacksons spent at least $500,000 trying to return Barbaro to the pain-free life of a healthy horse. The article also speculates that he was insured for approximately $13 million. When you consider the unliklihood that he ever would have been fit for stallion duty had he survived, you get the idea of the couple's dedication to the animal. Lesser folks could have given up and collected the insurance premium had they wanted to a long, long time ago.

And the following eloquent passage is from an editorial in the Times entitled One Horse Dies; I'll post it here without any further comment:

Humans are not especially good at noticing horses, but Barbaro was easy to notice. And if his life caused us to pay attention to the possibilities of all horses, his death should cause us to pay attention to the tragedy inherent in the end of so many horses. Barbaro’s death was tragic not because it was measured against the races he might have won or even against the effort to save his life. It was tragic because of what every horse is.

You would have to look a long, long time to find a dishonest or cruel horse. And the odds are that if you did find one, it was made cruel or dishonest by the company it kept with humans. It is no exaggeration to say that nearly every horse — Barbaro included — is pure of heart. Some are faster, some slower. Some wind up in the winner’s circle. But they should all evoke in us the generosity of conscience — a human quality, after all — that was expended in the effort to save this one horse.


Green Mtn Punter said...

Barbaro was a great inspiration to anyone who ever struggled against very long odds- which includes, at one time or another, every person on this planet. R.I.P., Barbaro.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the Times editorial. I found it very poignant as I am a proud owner of 2 horses, one a retired OTTB and jumper and he is the most loving animal you could imagine. He has been such a great first horse that we entrusted our tiny 8yr old beginning rider daughter to him and as she has grown into an 11yr old hunter-jumper he displays such heart and sparkle. He is a tough old fella in the pasture and runs things but he is always a pleasure to be around and there is something about the way he greets us with head down and a nudge for a rub or that "look of eagles" in his eyes. We tend to anthropomorphizing our pets but in this case it is not really that so much as it is like the editorial said, the heart of the animal that brings out the best in us.

Anonymous said...

Best opinion piece I have read in the Times in.... Well ever, I guess.

Mr. Ed