Barbaro update, and a challenge to those who say they love horses

14 11 2006

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.



12 responses

15 11 2006

And… Volunteer, contribute, or adopt a retired racehorse from any of the numerous organizations who sposor such things. Last year, 90,000 horses were sent to slaughter – many for human comsumption overseas.

15 11 2006

I am buying the Barbaro Breyer as soon as it is available in Bartlesville OK. Atwoods is supposed to have them in this friday. I HOPE so!!

You know I am looking to buy another horse. I have been for awhile since the Old Guy is now 27 and his arthritis is getting more advanced.

I have notified a few horse rescues but there arent many in Oklahoma. If you know/hear of any rescues or rescue foundations in my area or very close neighboring states, send them my way!

I have room and enough love for one more horse.

15 11 2006

Girl, we need to get you a MORGAN! 😉 You’re in Bartlesville? I’ll see if I can hook ya up…

16 11 2006

I am quite near B-ville!! hook me up 🙂

17 11 2006

And here is another place to help. but please have knowledge and or a good trainer when taking on an ex-racer. They are in many Staes across the country now.

17 11 2006
I Gallop On

I’ve been looking at a PMU Percheron filly. But, alas, I don’t think I can afford right now.

Breaks my heart to think of any of them going to slaughter.


17 11 2006
Patricia Barlow-Irick

You don’t have to be willing to pay for a reject horse, there are lots of them that just need to be taken in. Put the word out and somehow they will find a way to your door. One of mine, the previous owner paid $1500 to ship him to me!!!

Of course a free reject horse isn’t necessarily a nice riding animal. It’s a project and a huge commitment.

Good luck,
ps. DefrostIndoors, thanks for the link on your horse blogs. This is a great website!

12 12 2006
Dark Sunshine

I got the Barbaro model YAY 😀 🙂 I love it, mainly cause its of Barbaro!

I don’t particularily like horse racing, there is too much risk for the horses and they have no say in whether or not they race, and the fate of many of the retired ones is not always happy. 😦 What I do love however are the horses themselves, I adore Man O’ War, Ruffian, Go for Wand, Secretariat, Alydar, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Sunday Silence, Exceller, Easy Goer, Smarty Jones, Funny Cide,Sir Barton, Northern Dancer……. the whole list is huge! They deserve recognition as brilliant atheletes
and have amazing hearts.

I do have to admit that when you said ‘if you really love horses’ I was already straining at the bit ready for the challenge, I am ALWAYS interested in helping these magnificent animals, even though sometimes it is hard and you seem like yoiu are getting no where. When I realized that I could say YES to 3 or more of your criteria I was extremely proud, but not just cause I did it, because I actually believed it was the right thing to do.

5 01 2007
Kevin Cates


If you have a Minute to Help a Family, Buy Them A Coke and a Hotdog, God Bless


21 01 2007

the ‘Go for Wand’ pictures are awful, i truly feel so so sorry for that horse.

would these ‘reject’ horses possibly be sent to the uk?

26 04 2007

I think the major horsemeat markets are France, Belgium and Japan; the UK probably ships its ‘surplus’ horses to the continent.

8 11 2012
Michael Ferrante

If you ever have a moment to spend around horses, you would realize that they are like playful innocent children. They are loving and extremely intelligent creatures. They can certainly feel many similar emotions that humans experience. Fear is one of those emotions. They know when the horse in front of them was just killed in a slaughter house.
Now, if these horses were all truly “unwanted” as the slaughter advocates would have you believe then people would not be so disgusted by the possibility of horses being slaughtered in the ways they are currently being treated and killed. The Kill Buyers go to these auctions and bid heavily against potential buyers for perfectly healthy horses. Against people who could provide homes for these horses over a slaughterhouse. People that actually do want them and are in the market for them, and have the means to take proper care of these animals. They are never given the chance because the auctioneers move the animals through the ring so quickly, and these killer buyers are crafty with their bidding tactics. They have done this MANY times before.
Now, the auctioneers know exactly who the kill buyers are. My view is that these vultures should have to wait until after all bidders have had a chance to properly assess and bid on these horses and if no one genuinely wants them after 2 or 3 open auctions have concluded then the vultures should be able to have whatever is left over at a standard and industry pre-established price, and at the option of the private seller after having been clearly told that if they sell this horse to this kill buyer that it will absolutely be slaughtered for meat for a foreign country. If the horse is a stolen horse, a thief will not bring this horse to auction 3 times. It’s too risky, and too much work. This solution stops them from wrongly using the term “unwanted horses” after out bidding a loving home for the animal and at the same time reduces the quick incentive of a potential thief.
Perhaps the activists (I am very upset by all of this as well) should target the sellers before an auction begins. Perhaps kill buyers should be required to be clearly identifiable, and their intentions very clear before they can buy any horse on the open market. These killers should not have the first pick of the animals over people who genuinely want them and then be allowed to say that they were “unwanted horses”. That’s bullshit, it’s deceptive, it’s a lie, and it’s not fair. Now, these kill buyers should have to pay additional taxes and an additional fees on the horses at the time of their purchases as well. This money should be set (100%) to the side and given to legitimate NPO shelter programs who try to genuinely help these poor creatures. Now, there should be reasonable limitations set on these people as well. I have seen the types of horses these people typically choose to rescue. They should be allowed to only rescue and apply for funding for those animals which they are more likely to be able to place with someone in a new horse home/career. I mean, many of these rescued horses at these places can never be ridden, are blind in at least one eye, and only have 1 of 4 legs still attached to them. Now this is obviously somewhat over exaggerated, and these folks do the best they can with what resources they have. So, I’m not knocking these folks at all. Quite the contrary! I would love to help their cause. But even they will have to admit that horses that cannot be ridden or with other physical issues are difficult to place, and are truly the candidates that the horse processing industry should be looking for rather than the healthy horses that they rarely see come through their programs. Perhaps with better funding and tax dollars being re-directed towards keeping horse ownership and feed supplies affordable, then more people would own horses.
Now, as for the president who keeps pushing this clean energy crap! How much greener to the planet could one get than horse ownership? Perhaps they could promote this over the use of cars in some situations. This would help reduce Americas Dependency on foreign oil. Use a horse to go run local errands in your local community! It’s fun, It’s cheaper than public transportation, and much more fashionable! The politicians could then divert even more money towards this effort under this ‘green’ plan, and send some of the saved tax dollars to help save these majestic creatures instead of supporting lobby interests in their legislative actions. It’s morally incomprehensible and irresponsible to our American heritage to simply sit idly by and watch a child or their loved companion be so brutally destroyed because of foreign interests.
The fact is that, most Americans are 100% ignorant to these issues. They have NO IDEA that this brutality even goes on. If they did, there would be such a national outcry that politicians would have to hear them or risk their political careers. Hell, I would bet that even most horse owners are truly unaware as to what really happens when a horse goes to auction. If they knew, they would certainly NEVER allow another horse to go to auction ever again.
I also believe that any politician who ever votes on any laws as they pertain to a specific animal such as horses, should be required to get to know the animals they are going to make a decision about, and talk to educated owners of these creatures. Education is what I believe the key to resolving this issue really comes down to. Education for the law makers, the law breakers, the owners, the buyers, the auctioneers, and the general public. Education is power. Power is the ability to love weather it makes sense or not. The exercise of true power is in knowing you have the ability to do otherwise or cause harm and choosing not to do so. Power is derived from education or knowing the facts about something more so than someone else does. Let’s be smart here folks! Let’s put our heads together to come up with a win, win solution that addresses all needs and concerns involved here. It may even come down to giving one of these kill buyers a hug at the next auction, and gently remind them of what they are doing that could be done in another way. Let’s work with these people to furnish both of out concerns, and the concerns of excess horses in the marketplace. Let’s work with breeders and politicians to make a positive change. We are wasting too much precious time arguing with everyone involved. Maybe, if we worked with the slaughter house owners rather than arguing with them, they could help us in turn by exercising or forcing more humane industry practices to be followed by their delivery trucks and workers. Who knows? Has this approach ever been tried?

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