Barbaro’s fans celebrate his life; should probably consider getting one of their own

26 04 2007

Wet & wild!

Barbaro would have turned four this Sunday (April 29), and his fan Sharon Crumb has organized a celebration of his life at Delaware Park, site of the colt’s maiden win in October 2005. I think that’s a nice idea, and she’ll have plenty of company; apparently over 500 FOBs (Friends of Barbaro) have committed to showing up. Some things do give me pause though:

“I can’t let Barbaro go,” a choked-up Crumb said. “I won’t let Barbaro go.”

WTF?!

I don’t doubt for a moment that Ms. Crumb’s distress is very real, and that the death of an animal she may never have seen in person has hit her hard. I do have to ask why, however. We all grieved when his valiant fight was for naught, taking comfort in the fact that his medical saga will benefit future injured horses. Refusing to “let him go” smacks of deeper problems, or at the very least a good ol’ fashioned dramabomb. On Sunday, NBC will be airing a one-hour documentary called Barbaro: America’s Horse (not to be confused with the HBO documentary in the works). The compulsion to mark anniversaries this way is a perfect expression of what Pat Forde refers to as “drama-addicted America”.

Five months ago I wrote:

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…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.

I still stand by what I said. If you were and are genuinely moved by Barbaro, and love horses, then for God’s sake dry your eyes, pick up a shovel, grab your wallet and get moving. He’s dead and we can do no more for him. We can remember him, yes, but if he is to live up to his fans’ claims of greatness then those fans should be working on leaving him a more tangible legacy than a heap of tear-stained tissues on the grounds of Delaware Park.

Update: Oh, all right. Here’s a slightly more sympathetic take from ESPN, The Church of Barbaro.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

About these ads

Actions

Information

14 responses

26 04 2007
raincoaster

Amen.

26 04 2007
timethief

You wrote:

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…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.

I say: AMEN. I with you all the way. I have no time for the drama queens.

27 04 2007
Callie

Agreed. I wonder if Ms. Crumb has ever had anything real to do with horses or any other animal for that matter. Actions speak louder than drama!

27 04 2007
Liz

Let Mrs Crumb be herself and in time she will heal, for all others i had a horse break a leg on the track, and is home with me, I was and am still missing barbaro, I think we all need time and space. Talking about drama Queens, some of them have the biggest hearts in the world. The things that make me the most mad is the selling of his items on ebay. What a joke if people had anything to do with horses all those people would give to Equine research instead of making a bussiness out of it. You all say you love animals BS

27 04 2007
defrostindoors

The problem with drama queens is that their hearts are large, yes, generally not for other people (or animals, in this case). Ms. Crumb’s feelings are really more about her than about Barbaro. Remembering him is one thing; making sure everyone knows how much you are suffering is quite another.

Also, how in the hell can you still miss an animal you didn’t even personally know? I still regret that Peter Cook has left us but I don’t pretend I had a personal stake in his passing.

27 04 2007
Erica

Thanks for saying what really needed to be said — instead of wallowing in grief over a horse you didn’t even know, volunteer for a rescue or adopt or foster a rescue horse if you can. These horses may not be expensive Tbreds, but they need our help — and they are just about universally so sweet!

There is clearly something in the psychological makeup of some people that causes them to project their feelings and get caught up in grieving for strangers. IMHO, those who grieve excessively for people and animals they don’t know are grieving for themselves and their own loneliness. But that’s just my theory!

27 04 2007
Sarah

Yup. You’re dead right.

28 04 2007
Liz

wELL I THINK YOU ARE RIGHT THEY MIGHT BE ALONE, BUT WHO SAID EVERYONE IN THE WORLD HAS SOMEONE OR SOMETHING ELSE TO REACH OUT TO. I CAN GIVE YOU A LIST OF 40 HORSES THAT WE HAVE RACED OVER THE YEARS AND LOST IN THE FOG WAS MY HORSES STALL MATE SO IT BECOMES A BIGGER ISSUE, THIS IS FAMILY NOW, BUT WHO SAYS YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE TRAINER GREG GILCREST WHO WENT THREW HELL, AND WAS BY HIS SIDE WHEN THEY PUT HIM TO SLEEP. THE POINT IS YOU DON’T HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE FEELING OR IN THIS SUBJECT THE HORSE!!!. I DON’T CLAIM TO KNOW BARBARO BUT IT TOUCHED ME VERY DEEP, IN FACT THIS DERBY BESIDES THE MATCH RACH WITH RUFFIAN WILL BE THE HARDEST TO WATCH FOR ME. BUT I THINK FOR HEALTH PURPOSES I NEED TO DO THIS FOR ME. MY TBREEDS AT HOME ONE FROM FRANCE ONE FROM HERE WOULD HAVE BEEN PUT TO SLEEP IF I DID NOT BRING THEM HOME. SO YOU FEEL HOW YOU FEEL BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS. YOU GO MRS. CRUMB. HOPE YOU GET OVER THIS SOON.

28 04 2007
defrostindoors

1. Capslock does not confer infallibility.
2. Re-read everything for comprehension.

30 04 2007
A Friend from Afar

How jaded and truly uninformed you naysayers are that belittle the bereavement of someone who was touched by the story of a horse that suffered through his greatness. If you have read anything about Ms. Crumb and the money that these “F.O.B” people have organized then possibly you might reconsider your inane comments. This horse has brought people together from all over the globe, bringing into light the attrocities that are committed to racehorses on a daily basis and raising funds and awareness to the laminitis that eventually claimed his life. Ms. Crumb and the people she has organized have come together of their own volition and donated money and time to start a cause that, to most of the world, goes unoticed. These are the same people that one year ago would never have considered giving themselves, wallet and heart, to a horse. Barbaro has touched them and raised awareness so that other horses may be rescued and possibly saved. This is the legacy that they are cultivating. One more dollar donated, one more hour spent at a shelter, one more phone call made to ask for a donation for a charity to brIng this into the public view is what these Friends of Barbaro are about. It’s very easy to sit back and critique and make fun of those from the comfort of your computer chair. But those that have taken the initiative to act on their grief and do something about it should be commended and not picked upon like vultures upon a rotting carcass within the cozy confines of their computer screens.

30 04 2007
Liz

AMEN nice to see someone give these fools a run for their money. These people have no idea about what these horse and people go threw and are very shallow at best. You said it afar glad you did. And defrostinthedoor. Dont be a ass about my writing i have one hand jerk

30 04 2007
defrostindoors

That explains the typing but not the reading. Thanks for your comments. You’ll notice that the remarks from actual horse people are quite different; it’s quite enjoyable how you keep buttressing the points I made in the post.

3 05 2008
Eight Belles « Bridlepath

[...] Please don’t create a cult around her [...]

3 03 2009
Pet Doctor’s Blog » Blog Archive » Eight Belles

[...] Please don’t create a cult around her [...]




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 337 other followers

%d bloggers like this: