Barbaro’s cast has now been removed, and he is said to be making slow but substantial progress, say his vets.
Now, here’s where the “if you love horses” part comes in.
Barbaro has received a lot of attention in the months since the Preakness, and deservedly so; very few horses recover from that sort of injury. When I saw his jockey pull him up, and that dangling foot, my heart was in my mouth. I was somewhat relieved when they bundled him into the horse ambulance; at least he wasn’t going to be euthanized on the track, like Go For Wand was. He would not be added to the statistics for 2006, although the numbers for 2005 are horrendous enough (753 racehorses died as a result of track-related injuries that year).
If you are still moved by Barbaro, if you really love horses, don’t send him a card. Don’t make another video pastiche for YouTube. Do something for all the other horses who don’t have the world on their side.
Make a donation to the Barbaro Fund at the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine, buy a Barbaro wristband, the Breyer Barbaro, or the Barbaro print: all proceeds will benefit horse-related charities.
Volunteer at a local horse rescue, or send a donation of money, old tack and other usable goods. I’ll bet Canadian horse rescues would be happy to accept that Canadian Tire money you never get around to using.
Adopt a PMU foal, or sponsor a PMU mare.
Make your next eBay purchase from a charity or horse rescue which is trying to raise funds. MissionFish lists many of these; go to Search, then choose Environment and Protection of Animals under Nonprofit Type.
Volunteer at a local therapeutic riding centre and help someone else discover the joy that horses can bring to a person’s life.
Support Brigadier’s Law, which supports a proposal to amend the Criminal Code of Canada giving Police Service Animals the much needed protection they require, under the law. (Brigadier)
If you really love horses, and not just because it’s cool to be sentimental over Barbaro, do something meaningful for all the horses who serve us, and suffer in silence, yet still trust humans to do the right thing. They deserve it just as much as any Kentucky Derby winner.