- Roy and Gretchen Jackson have distanced themselves from a statue of Barbaro which is set to be displayed in NY's Central Park starting on April 30, and coinciding with the running of the Derby on the following Saturday. And one can certainly understand why from their standpoint. For one thing, it's pretty unflattering, depicting their Derby champ lying on his back, representing his inability to stand on his feet due to the debilitating laminitis which followed the shattered ankle he suffered in the 2006 Preakness Stakes. [Barbaro's Law]
And secondly, Daniel Edwards, the "controversial" sculptor, is taking a direct swipe at the racing industry.
The Memorial’s website....provides an online petition urging Congress to pass a law that would arm consumers with the truth about the perils of horseracing by requiring racetracks to disclose race-related injury and fatality statistics. “Informed race patrons may choose to avoid contributing to the breakdown and destruction of racehorses by not buying a ticket or placing a bet,” said gallery co-director, David Kesting. Estimates are that 700-800 horses are killed on racecourses annually in the US and Canada with an additional 375 racehorse deaths in the UK.The website has a comments section, so, as you might imagine, the lunatics of the FOB's (I'm now unsure whether that stands for Fans or Friends [or Fiends] of Barbaro) are there.
- Do you have legal permission to use the name “BARBARO” in the title of this “exhibition of poor taste”? (Someone responds that "there are 5 other horses named Barbaro, all of which were foaled BEFORE your Barbaro.")Well, that would be a shame! And a potential loss of business at Bellevue's psychiatric ward.
- This is disgusting and in no way represents the Barbaro that we knew and loved. He stood upright with strength, courage, and dignity until the end. This is a mockery of our hero and it should be destroyed.
- The sculpture is just horrible, why in God’s name would put a horse on is back. Our horese are worrier’s and proud animals. Barbaro should never be on his back, proud and upright is were he should be. Maybe you should rethink this. (original spelling left intact)
- If this statue is erected, I will stop my trips to NYC and will never return to a city with such bad taste.
However, amidst the inane drivel is a far more relevant and right-on comment by handicapper Andy Serling, who writes:
While a great fan of the art world, and an advocate of free speech, I am also a great fan of horse racing and to anyone familiar with this situation your sculpture smacks of opportunism of the highest order.I come down on the This Is Art school of thought - it's to be admired, reviled, or ignored as you wish. Personally, I find it unattractive, and lacking the humor of some of Edwards' other works, such as his topless bust of Hillary Clinton, his depiction of Paris Hilton's autopsy, or his bronze sculpture of Suri Cruise's first poop. However, when the exhibit is over, the upside-down Barbaro will go away. Unfortunately, there's no sign of the FOB's doing the same.
You display a complete lack of understanding of the truth, in even the most basic ways, and it is hard to believe this is anything other than a desperate attempt to cash in on the fears of the uninformed.
How much, pray tell, are you donating to horse rescue? Surely with as much concern as you pretend to have, you have a long history of contributing to the many foundations that work tirelessly to further the welfare of the thoroughbred. If not your work here is nothing if not completely self-serving.