Barbaro Updates: 1179 – 1226

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted December 22, 2006

Update 1226: It is December 23rd … the weather is balmy, it must be 60 degrees outside today! I galloped Who’s Happy for the first time since her first race a couple of weeks ago. She felt great, and the synthetic track rode very well after all the rain we had last night. The dirt track was closed so the synthetic track was very busy, but the surface seems to have no problem handling the traffic. Nonpariel went outback to jog up and down some of the hills. She enjoyed that. I also shedrowed Jaunty Gale for Tim, the first time I had ridden her.

Hawty Creek had an easy day, she will have a day off tomorrow and basically I have decided to back off her a little bit, she will likely do her next work next weekend. There is possibly a race for her January 20, so we have a little time to let her “regroup”.

Tim is now on his way to Laurel. Lets hope Gator Nation can get the job done today, he runs in the third race. I am planning to go to New Bolton a little later (early afternoon), and will hopefully have a Barbaro update after that visit.

Update 1225: Lots of rain overnight, which will surely impact training hours this morning. We shall see.

Barbaro fans send colt Christmas prayers. Another nice article highlighting all your support, and the posters on the fence line. The article also notes that $1.2million has been raised for the Barbaro Fund!

Barbaro’s older half brother will be standing in Florida next year: Holy Ground, half brother to Barbaro, retired to Bridlewood in Florida.

Update 1224: A couple of comments posted:

From Alie at Kennett Florist (timestamp: 8:38 pm):

Rachel and I just got back from NBC. The mood there was festive and everyone was happy. Special thank you to the song writers. Everyone is still getting a kick out of the songs… No news other than stable (no pun intended), content & happy for our big boss horse. He’s definitively getting loaded up with goodies and treats for Christmas. The Blanket arrived as we were getting ready to deliver his treats. We took a picture and Rachel will try to post it later today or tonight when she gets a chance.

With a couple of days left to go until Christmas, I wanted to check in one more time and tell everyone what an honor and pleasure these past few months have been. All of us here at Kennett Florist are so grateful for the lunches, cookies, fudge, candy, and assorted other goodies (now we all need gym memberships!) Thank you as well for all the lovely cards (with all that we received, not one duplicate) and holiday well wishes.

We’ve all been very busy here at KF and the girls are really working hard. We are so lucky to have such wonderful employees here and I don’t know what I’d do without them.

Erin’s illness is still on everyone’s mind. Fortunately for all of is, she is like Barbaro- this kid’s a fighter! From the latest report on Erin, the tumor (to everyone’s surprise, especially the doctor) appears to be dying! Her treatment is ongoing, and we all hope and pray that Erin will continue to fight and that there will be a positive outcome for her and her family.

Thank you as well to Tim Woolley and Alex for letting us post on your site to keep everyone updated (and to let us thank everyone as well.) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you hardworking folks. Thanks again for your patience with us.

It’s truly amazing how one horse could bring so many wonderful people together. With so many bad things happening in the world today it’s so nice to know that there are people out there that do care. I feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful band of people and know that we are always here for all of you.

For all you have done for Barbaro, NBC, KF, & Erin, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
God bless all of you and may you have a great holiday season and a terrific New Year!

From Sabina (timestamp: 10:10 pm)

Hello Fans of Barbaro,
I just wanted to thank everyone that has supported and prayed for a speedy recover after my riding accident. Accidents happen, but my spill was a really bad one, even if I didn’t believe it. But when the trauma doc and the neurosurgeon both say miracles were at work that my spinal cord was not severed I could only think of all the good vibes that you have sent out to Big B that must have rubbed off onto me. I am recovering well and only take motrin once a day and am exercising everyday to build back the atrophied muscles. I still have to wear my brace for one more month but is a small price to pay for a full recovery, The few times I was a little down I had only to think of how Big B patiently stood in his stall for months one end as he healed. His actions taught me patience.
And thanks for voting for my photo at It was a real treat to find my photo as one of the Best of 2006. It was an honor for me, but more of an honor for what it represents in our society, of how we have come along to respect and love our equine friends and even more that the media realizes it too. Lets hope our congressman saw it and we can again get a law past the protects our horses. Thank you and Merry Christmas, Sabina

Update 1223: After a flurry of news stories over the last couple of days, mostly about Barbaro’s plans away from New Bolton (not yet determined) things appear to be quieting down a little.

It was recently announced that Mrs. Jackson is on the board of R.A.C.E. Fund: RACE Fund Endorsed by Gretchen Jackson.

Here is the mission of R.A.C.E. fund:

To preserve the lives of thoroughbred racehorses and racetrack pony horses who can no longer race or work by providing a funding source to help pay for their care and well being during their transition to retirement and adoption. Uphold the integrity of racing by encouraging horsemen and the racing industry to give back to these gallant creatures who have given so much to them. Work to put an end to horse slaughter in the United States.

On the international racing scene, the Japan Cup winner, Deep Impact, is making his final start this weekend, and will meet the Melbourne Cup 1-2: Deep Impact set for career finale in Arima Kinen.

Update 1222: Mrs. Jackson just called and Barbaro remains comfortable. She had just visited Barbaro.
update, 2:35 pm, friday december 22

Update 1221: No Barbaro update yet today. The Channel 6 Action News piece that aired last night (noted in update 1218) is here: Barbaro Looking Good for New Year.

Fair Hill was a little grey this morning, and waiting for the expected rain. Hawty Creek went out back again today. Tim took Gator Nation out first set, he is running tomorrow at Laurel, and looks well. We took Nonpariel (me) and Medi Man (Tim) out together. As we were getting close to the track we heard over the PA system (Mike Goswell and a microphone) “Loose horse on the dirt” … as we heard this we could hear the sound of pounding hooves along the inside rail (which is packed down for the winter with the dogs up). This definitely set our horses off a little, and made for a more exciting set, although they both did gallop well together. For my last set I had a first timer to the track … and he actually went very well. The main track closed early in anticipation of rain, but aside from a little drizzle it has yet to arrive.

Kennett Florist visited Fair Hill yesterday to drop off cookies at each of the barns, thanks to Fans of Barbaro. I had already left, but fortunately a few cookies were left over this morning in our barn, so thank you very much for that. Cookies, coffee and donuts always go down well in the barns in the morning!

Posted by Alex at 5:17 PM | Comments (236)
Barbaro Updates: 163
Posted December 21, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 1220: Another look at a piece of the Penn Video taken of Barbaro on wednesday, this time included in a story from Barbaro Beats The Odds. Access the link “Raw Video: Barbaro Walks Again”. You can also vote for the Top stories in Delaware: From Barbaro to Branner.

Update 1219: The World News Tonight piece (ABC) was very similar, if not the same, as the GMA piece this morning. Very cool coverage on national news!

A little about Showing Up and NoBiz: Tagg’s two stars point for Gulf meet.

Update 1218: Channel 6 Action News (ABC affiliate) just aired their piece. It included an interview with Dr. Richardson and Kathy Freeborn “He’s a loved horse”, shots of the Christmas Tree and a poster from the outside fence line. A nice upbeat report which also included some of the video taken yesterday by Penn.

Update 1217: Mrs. Jackson just called to report Barbaro was again comfortable during her morning visit this morning.

I caught up with Mike Jensen (Philadelphia Inquirer) when I visited New Bolton to hang the latest posters I received (and I know there are more to come). He was there to try to get an interview with Dr. Richardson, which he did after I left. Channel 6 Action News was also there, so plenty of media coverage continuing.

Bloodhorse is running this story: Barbaro Update: Derby Winner’s New Home Undecided, so while nothing has yet been finalised, it seems the Kentucky Horse Park has been ruled out as Barbaro’s next home. The following is an excerpt:

Roy Jackson said no decision has been made on Barbaro’s next stop on his road to recovery. He said it has not even been determined which state where he might end up, but that a major consideration is going to be a climate favorable to regular exercise for Barbaro.

“There is nothing concrete (about a new home for Barbaro) but everybody is on the same page that when we get into a period of ice and snow at the facility there, he won’t be able to go outside and exercise. The best thing for him is to be able to move around and everybody feels that it would be best if he was at a location where he would be able to do that,” Jackson said Thursday, Dec. 21.

Update 1216: No Barbaro update yet this morning, but it was good to see him on Good Morning America. I am assuming he will be on the local news later today with similar footage. I am off to New Bolton to hang another poster, and meet Mike Jensen for lunch.

I just updated Tim’s horses on the site, it had been a while! Fair Hill this morning was slightly warmer than yesterday, when it was downright cold! It was a pretty grey day. Hawty Creek went outback again today, as she did yesterday. Nonpariel, which is one I am riding for Tim these days, galloped a mile on the dirt track with Tim on Medi Man. Basically Tim’s horse was giving me company as Nonpariel is quite new to life in training. She went well!

I thought this was interesting: CW: Cultural Learnings of America.

Posted by Alex at 5:50 PM | Comments (443)
Barbaro Updates: 162
Posted December 20, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 1215: The Good Morning America piece: Barbaro Recovers: A True Champion. This includes new video from Penn, filmed yesterday, as well as footage from last friday’s visit (the New Bolton fence line and Christmas Tree etc.) of GMA.

Update 1214: I don’t think anyone would argue with this: Barbaro…Simply the Best. To follow that up, in the Philadelphia area anyway, In 2006 horse race, Barbaro was the best.

Update 1213: A must read commentary by Dr. Richardson in the Thoroughbred Times: Lessons learned from Barbaro. It concludes:

When the four of us–the Jacksons, trainer Michael Matz, and me–were discussing the gravity of the situation, there were no dry eyes. But the nice thing is that there was one other individual there taking part in the decision who didn’t have tears in his eyes. That was Barbaro! Because he was just standing there–looking like a great horse–telling us that he wanted to go on.

That is why we went on then and why we continue to go on now.

Update 1212: I just got the word Barbaro will be on Good Morning America tomorrow as well as World News Tonight:

The GMA piece will air around 7:30 – 7:40am tomorrow (they often change the air time depending on other late breaking news). It will also air on Worlds News Tonight tomorrow night, as well as various other networks around the country.

I know a Fan of Barbaro was interviewed for this piece when adding a poster to the fence line, lets hope that makes the news too!

Update 1211: I cannot imagine this is a good decision no matter how it is spun: Wire To Wire Cut from Revamped ESPN Lineup. And this is some of the spin:

“Wire to Wire is something that we can do without now, but even with all of the revisions, we feel that less is more,” said ESPN senior vice president Len DeLuca. “We will be more committed on the jewel events, particularly now that the ‘Breeders’ Cup Challenge’ is in place.

Update 1210: Three new Barbaro photographs from today: Barbaro Photo Album.

Update 1209: New Bolton’s update today on Barbaro: Barbaro examined by podiatrist:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was examined yesterday by Dr. Scott Morrison, head of the equine podiatry service at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. “Barbaro is stable and comfortable although we remain concerned about the long term management of his left hind foot,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. According to Barbaro’s medical team, Dr. Morrison did some minor work on Barbaro’s left hind foot, and made recommendations concerning the management of that foot. “There is no timetable at this moment concerning Barbaro’s discharge from the hospital,” said Dr. Richardson. “His comfort on both hind limbs is good and his overall condition is excellent.”

The next update will be posted on Tuesday, January 2, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 1208: Barbaro has a race named after him: Sir Barton Stakes renamed Barbaro Stakes. The Sir Barton is run on the Preakness undercard, and like the Preakness, is restricted to three year olds.

More confirmation that Hollywood Park benefited from the Cushion Track: Handle, field size increase, thanks to Cushion Track. The article concludes:

Showing Up, the winner of the Hollywood Derby on Nov. 26, was named horse of the meeting.


Update 1207: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). Mrs. Jackson just called (12:30 pm) to let us know, after her morning visit.
update 12:40 pm, wednesday, december 20

Posted by Alex at 5:36 PM | Comments (441)
Barbaro Updates: 161
Posted December 19, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 1206: No update yet today for Barbaro (noon), but we know New Bolton is planning its update for today. A nice opinion article in the Bloodhorse from Dr. Joan C. Hendricks, Dean of Penn Vet: Seize the Moment. It includes the following excerpt:

We must use this opportunity — we may not get another — to raise funds to move forward on equine diseases such as laminitis. We must focus and invest more time, science, and funds in preventing and treating performance injuries. For complex animals with complicated diseases, we have only a tiny amount of money; despite historic highs, the total amount available at the two major equine charities is still less than $4 million. While everyone involved in raising these funds deserves applause, let me put this in perspective: These amounts are less than one National Institutes of Health award granted this year to the University of Pennsylvania for human clinical research. No one can expect to make progress in fighting a complex medical problem with this kind of insufficient funding.

Update 1205: A couple of articles that wrap up what we can learn from yesterday: Barbaro on the move? and No decision made after Barbaro sees foot specialist. The upshot being no one yet knows the plans for moving Barbaro. I met Sandra McKee yesterday for the first time while at New Bolton. I also spoke briefly to Mike Jensen on the phone.

One interesting excerpt from the Philadelphia Inquirer article:

Even without an exact timetable, she said, “things are moving along.” Jackson reported that a catheter had been taken out of Barbaro’s neck yesterday at the Kennett Square facility that has been the horse’s home for seven months since he suffered catastrophic injuries in the May 20 Preakness.

“That’s a major step,” Jackson said.

It is seven months for Barbaro and New Bolton today. A couple more snippets from my visit yesterday. John and I commented on the quality of music Barbaro was listening to … the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were playing on the radio, not country music! Peter Brette was happy to hear that when I spoke to him last night. Barbaro was also playing the game of getting the spearmint mints, stud muffins (which are also small) and sugar cubes off the stall ledge, without dropping them on the stall floor. He was very careful when doing it, moving his top lip like an elephant moves its trunk when seeking something! Very cool.

Update 1204: A nice editorial from the Bloodhorse: Beyond Barbaro. It includes the following excerpt:

The son of Dynaformer would have none of it. Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s beloved colt demonstrated other-worldly intelligence, matched only in size and scope by his courage and heart. Barbaro could play the role of the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man — after they’d been to see the Wizard of Oz.

Wouldn’t it be nice if some of those attributes gravitated toward Thoroughbred industry leaders?

A few years ago I interviewed Ray Paulick for a class I was teaching: Internet Conversation with Raymond Paulick, Editor in Chief, Bloodhorse.

A couple of articles on Hard Spun’s facile win yesterday: Hard Spun Draws Crowd, Raves in Nursery Win and Hard Spun ends local run with another win.

The Cecil Whig ran this story yesterday on Mike Rea: HOUSE WHISPERER WANTED *Horse trainer’s family hopes for Extreme Home Makeover. It includes the follwing exerpt:

Someone clued her in to the ABC show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which renovates homes to meet families’ various needs.

In October Rehm started a petition to rally for the show to feature her brother’s family. So far she has garnered signatures from people around the world n many who know of Mike by association with Barbaro blogs. The petition has more than 3,000 signatures so far. There’s no telling how many it will take for ABC to take notice, Rehm said, but every signature is another sign of hope.

Update 1203: From New Bolton: The December 19 update has been postponed until tomorrow. I assume this is simply because it got too late in the day.

Update 1202: My fourth visit with Barbaro.
So today I was to meet Mrs. Jackson and John Hennegan at 10 am at New Bolton. John and his brother are making a movie “The First Saturday in May” for which John is filming the epilogue, so following up with Barbaro. Peter Brette had mentioned this project to me a few months ago, and John and I had had a brief conversation in the summer about it and the state of horse racing in general. We had not met. Mrs. Jackson thought it would be good for us to meet (for which I was very grateful, as not only was I interested in meeting John, it meant a visit with Barbaro). Given I needed to be at New Bolton by 10 am I cut my Fair Hill work short this morning. Hawty Creek breezed yesterday so she was having a day off anyway. Another of the horses I ride also had (an unscheduled) day off! I arrived at New Bolton ten minutes early, which gave me just enough time to place another poster on the outside fence line at New Bolton.
Once I got into the lobby I chatted with Kathy Freeborn as I waited for John and Mrs. Jackson. Kathy has promised to take a couple of pictures of the outside fence line so everyone can see how it is looking with all the new posters.

John arrived first. We made our brief introductions, and Mrs. Jackson arrived very shortly thereafter, and right on 10 am. Mrs. Jackson had her usual bag of grass for Barbaro and led John and I back to the ICU. As we went back John began filming. We entered the ICU, put on our ICU garments and went in to see Barbaro. He has now been moved back to his old unit (I had not seen him in this unit) but is in a different stall. Both his old stall and this stall are similar in size, and both have windows, but Barbaro’s current view is much more interesting (outside, fields etc. rather than the back of another building). Mrs. Jackson opened Barbaro’s stall door (it is a sliding door) about a foot and placed the freshly cut grass close to the stall door. It took a minute or so for Barbaro to be encouraged to start to eat the grass, but once he did, he was very contented. All the while John was filming, he also asked Mrs. Jackson questions for which she was hooked up to a microphone. Barbaro also receives some carrots, spearmint mints, stud muffins etc. He did get a little fiesty from time-to-time and I put on his halter so we had a little control if needed. We basically hung out for about an hour while John was filming, Barbaro was eating, and moving around his stall, peering out of his window (which is closed of course as it is a temparture controlled environment). This was also the first time I got to see his right hind leg without anything on it. In the deep straw it looks great, its only when you see the leg raised do you notice it is a little different now after all the surgery he has had. He also has a pretty big shoe on the end of it! Towards the end Barbaro decided to lie down. It seemed to take him a little while to get in position to lie down, he is quite deliberate about things he does, in order to take care of himself I think. Anyway, John thought this was brilliant, and Mrs. Jackson illustrated to us how gentle Barbaro is when he is lying down (she went up to pet him and he looked so at peace.)

All in all a great visit, and the staff everywhere were great. John was planning to meet Tom (the Jackson’s farm manager) later so he could get some footage of Barbaro outside grazing, and what a beautiful day it is this afternoon for that to happen. I went to lunch with Jennifer Rench (New Bolton PR) and we caught up an everything that is Barbaro!

Update 1201: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (monday night). I visited him with Mrs. Jackson and John Hennegan, from 10 am to about 11:30 am. John is making a movie / documentary, with his brother Brad, titled “The First Saturday in May”. This movie follows the stories of Barbaro, Brother Derek, Laywer Ron, Jazil, Sharp Humor and Achilles of Troy. More on the visit in the next update. The New Bolton Update will likely not be much before the end of the day.
update 1:45 pm, tuesday, december 19

Posted by Alex at 6:43 PM | Comments (474)
Barbaro Updates: 160
Posted December 18, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 1200: Another article on Barbaro’s new visitor for today: Specialist from Ky. to examine Barbaro today. This article simply rehashes everything we know of today’s visit, and adds:

Robin Murray, public relations director for the Rood and Riddle center, said the hospital is capable of housing horses with laminitis, but added that Morrison has treated cases at some Lexington-area farms that can handle such horses as well.

Sharonlynn (Fan of Barbaro) who had this article published on horse slaughter a little earlier has more recently had two more articles published: Letter: Senators must listen to the people and Guest Opinion: Stop inhumane slaughtering of our horses to feed elite Europeans. Please review and add your thoughtful comments.

There is more good news for synthetic tracks after the short Hollywood Park meet: Cushion Track Boosts Field Sizes, Purses, Handle at Hollywood Park.

The Barbaro update will likely be late morning.

Update 1199: The Daily Racing Form is running an article on the visit tomorrow of the foot specialist from Rood & Riddle: Barbaro gets checkup. This article does not suggest immediate plans for movement to Rood & Riddle, the following is an excerpt:

“I guess Dean feels Dr. Morrison is very good in his field as far as specializing in laminitis and hoof problems, and being a blacksmith as well as a veterinarian,” Jackson added. “I guess it’s to see if there is something different that should be done.”

Richardson prompted speculation that Barbaro’s release from the New Bolton Center could be imminent when he said on Dec. 13, “In my mind’s eye, he can leave in the not-so-distant future.”

Richardson did not elaborate and declined to give a timeline for the horse’s departure when he made the comment at a press conference.

Jackson said that she and her husband, Roy, who bred and own Barbaro together, have been making plans for the day Barbaro leaves New Bolton Center. But she declined to say where they would send the colt after his release.

“As soon as it is possible to say anything, we will be happy to say,” Jackson said.

Tonight I had dinner at the Whip (thank you) with Tom Finn, who recently returned from Milawi. Tom used to gallop Storm Cat (a few years ago). It was fun listening to those stories.

Update 1198: Hard Spun clearly showed he is a promising 2yo that is ready for the major leagues. He handled the seven furlongs quite easily and drew away by about eight lengths in the end (Pennsylvania Nursery). He still looked green, and just before the wire he looked like he was looking at something. It will be tough to really get a handle on how good he is, until he does face graded stakes company, but he has done nothing wrong so far in his three facile victories. Here’s hoping for continued success for this gorgeous looking son of Danzig (who breezed at Fair Hill in preparation for this race).

Mr. Boxcar seemed to run well for about 5/8ths and then faded a little. It is tough to get a guage on the remainder of the field, as they each had their race taken away from them by the overwhelming Hard Spun!

Update 1197: The first media coverage I have seen of the failure to get the Senate to vote on the anti horse-slaughter bill: Anti-Slaughter Bill Still Awaits Vote in House. Lets hope for a better result on this next year. I know many people following Barbaro have been committed to helping push this legislation and worked very hard on this issue towards the end of this year.

On a more positive note: Christmas rescue: Faithful Tradition.

Update 1196: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). Mrs. Jackson just called (11 am) after her morning visit. She called as I was grooming Hawty Creek, who had a busy morning this morning. She got her new shoes at 6:30 am, and worked a half in 50 at 7:30 am. She went well. Probably 2 – 3 more works before she is ready to run. It is a gorgeous morning here, very warm. I can imagine this weather cannot last too much longer, but it is a pleasure for this time of year!
update 11:20 am, monday, december 18

Posted by Alex at 4:16 PM | Comments (468)
Barbaro Updates: 159
Posted December 16, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 1195: A nice “Barbaro” article to start the week: A horse racing wish list. It begins:

This is my 2006 Christmas wish list for horse racing.

For Dr. Dean Richardson: Anything his heart desires.

Here is the web-site for Rood & Riddle, which may be Barbaro’s next stop for his continued recovery (see update 1192).

It was another great afternoon yesterday for Russell Baze: Baze Wins Five Straight Races at Bay Meadows.

The Barbaro update will likely be later this morning.

Update 1194: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). Mrs. Jackson just called (12:40 pm) to let us know. Barbaro was lying down when she arrived, he got up, looked out of his window and was in good humour. Ron (Hawty Creek’s blacksmith) also called, so it looks like Hawty Creek will have a new set of shoes applied tomorrow.
update, 12:45 pm, sunday, december 17

Update 1193: I went into Fair Hill this morning (sunday morning) as I needed to train Hawty Creek (so she can breeze as soon she is reshod) and was also getting on one for Tim, Medi Man. It was a lovely morning, with a beautiful sunrise. The track was nice as quiet, as is usual for a sunday. Hawty Creek jogged two turns (cannot do too much with her as she is missing her right front shoe) and Medi Man galloped a mile and a half.

I had heard through the “Fair Hill grape vine” that Hard Spun had worked recently at Fair Hill on the tapeta surface, in preparation for his race on Monday: Hard Spun towers over Nursery rivals. Anyway, it turns out he has been at Fair Hill for a couple of weeks. I went over to see him, and he is an impressive looking individual. I saw him in his stall, and he just seemed very relaxed and contented. He will ship up to Philadelphia Park tomorrow morning for the race (its normal to ship the morning of a race for local racing). Of course many Fans of Barbaro will be rooting for Mr. Boxcar (whose daddy also trained at Fair Hill a few years ago.)

Update 1192: Kentucky foot specialist Morrison to examine Barbaro on Tuesday. It appears there is potential for Barbaro’s recovery to continue outside of New Bolton. The following are excerpts:

“I just think they are coming to a point where they can’t do anything more for him [at New Bolton],” Gretchen Jackson said. “He’s ready to move on is, more or less, what Dean is telling us. But we don’t have any dates. I’m under strict orders, things are in the making, but I just can’t say anything until it’s all solidified.

“They are just thinking that maybe [Rood and Riddle] can help him out more,” Jackson continued. “Even though it has grown, it will never look like a normal hoof, I’ve been told. But it’s definitely grown, and he walks on it fine.”


“I could kick myself today, because he’s been just wonderful for the last month, very gentle. …My grandkids were in his stall [Saturday] morning and I didn’t have a camera,” Gretchen Jackson said. “He’s lying down and they were walking right up to his head and kissing him and everything. I would have loved to have a picture of it, and I just hope I get the opportunity again to have the kids in there with him at the same time he’s lying down. He’s shown such a nice side to his personality and such a sweet side going through this whole ordeal.”

Update 1191: Show Thoroughbred Times who you support for the Eclipse award for trainer of the year: Vote for Michael Matz.

Your friends at Kennett Florist want to thank you for their lovely banner, which is proudly displayed outside their shop: THANK YOU FROM KF.

Update 1190: Just spoke to Tim. Who’s Happy was fourth on her debut this afternoon at Philadelphia Park. Graham Motion won the race, but his horse was disqualified to second. Tim said Who’s Happy broke well, laid 5th or 6th down the backside, moved up around the turn and faded a little coming down the lane. She did not switch leads at the end so likely got quite tired. Anyway, she ran a little green and got a little tired, but a decent showing for her first start. She is cooling out well.

Update 1189: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night), and another upbeat report from Mrs. Jackson from her visit this morning. She had her grandchildren with her and Barbaro was laying down when they arrived. Barbaro was in good form and very gentle for his guests.

Another lovely morning this morning at Fair Hill. I took Hawty Creek out early this morning, outback, just as the sun was rising. One of the downsides of being first to go outback is there are always plenty of deer around to get your horse excited. Hawty Creek bucked a lot. As I was coming back I noticed an odd pattern in the sky, like the exhaust of an aeroplane, but in a squiggly pattern. I was told later in the morning, when I took a 2yo to the gate, that a rocket had been launched this morning … and that was what created the odd exhaust. Apparently the rocket was cool to observe. Other than that, a nice uneventful morning, now I need to get hold of my blacksmith!
update, saturday morning, 10:20 am, december 16

Posted by Alex at 3:13 PM | Comments (508)
Barbaro Updates: 158
Posted December 15, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 1188: At the Press Conference on wednesday I introduced myself to Jack Ireland who writes for the Wilmington News Journal. We discussed Mike Rea and his Homemakeover, and his need to get signatures for his petition. Jack said he would willingly sign so here’s the link to sign Jack! As a result of the press conference Jack wrote this (very good) article: Barbaro’s popularity continues to soar. It includes the following excerpt:

A big reason Barbaro has become so important to so many is the way he has continually beaten the odds. While he was getting the best care available, it became evident early on that this horse was special. He was a fighter, or as one longtime Delaware Park fan said, “He’s a real trooper, isn’t he?” People in this country like to root for the underdog — human or equine.

“I think it’s something of a miracle he is here with us,” Roy Jackson said. “I don’t know exactly what it is, but we have never dwelled on the negative.

You can now vote for racing’s moment of the year.

This morning at Fair Hill will be quiet for me for a saturday. Hawty Creek’s scheduled half mile work has been postponed. She lost a right front shoe yesterday while jogging down a hill outback. She can’t work until I get her reshod, which I hope will be sometime in the next day or so. She’ll go outback again today most likely. Tim is going to open gallop Gator Nation (my usual first horse) so it looks like only four to ride and a nice easy morning ahead!

Update 1187: Barbaro is featured in People Magazine this week (top five news story for 2006) as well as Time Magazine.

It is sad to report the passing of Scotty Schulhoffer: Hall of Fame Trainer Scotty Schulhofer Dead at 80. His most recent “big horse” was Lemon Drop Kid.

Let us remember: Remembering Our Champions.

Update 1186: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). Mrs. Jackson called (10:15 am) after her morning visit with Barbaro. She was very upbeat in her assessment of Barbaro.

Kathy Anderson also visited Barbaro yesterday. It was Dr. Anderson’s first visit for a couple of weeks and she was also very happy with how Barbaro was doing. She noted that while Barbaro is back in his old “unit”, he is in fact in a different stall, with a window with a view. He seems to like his new “digs”.

These pictures were taken on wednesday of this week: Barbaro’s new halter and NBC Tree. I saw the tree on my latest visit to New Bolton, it is very cool!

Posted by Alex at 3:36 PM | Comments (348)
Barbaro Updates: 157
Posted December 14, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 1185: A couple more articles from the recent press conference here and here. According to Mary (comment timestamp: 2:43 am) there were 170 articles out within the last 24 hours about the press conference.

A couple of pieces of racing news. Slot money will soon impact racing in Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Park implements 40% purse increase. Those with Pennsylvania bred horses will be particularly excited. Woodbine’s meet is over, and the results from the time they implemented the synthetic surface are encouraging from a business standpoint, after a slow start to the meet (without the new synthetic surface): Woodbine Handle Slips, but Officials Optimistic.

The Barbaro update will likely not be until early afternoon.

Update 1184: I am now officially a reporter: Barbaro no longer under wraps.

Alie, from Kennett Florist, left this comment (timestamp: 8:38 pm):

It’s a beautiful day here in Kennett Square. Nice & sunny, now that this morning fog has lifted. I just returned from NBC. All was happy & bright. Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day. I was NBC for the press conference. Afterward I gave Mr. & Mrs. Jackson Barbaro’s bridle. They loved it and the mint wreath. The wreath of carrots looked really cool. Pictures were taken before the green tops wilted; it became horse food. The NBC Christmas gathering had a big turn out. I dropped off a centerpiece as they were setting up. The staff was treated to hot hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, meatball, and cake among other things. The cards were displayed on foam board for all to see. Dr Sweeney is off today, but will post a thank you at the UPENN site at a later time. Thanks to all who helped make this a nice party for them.

Update 1183: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). I just called Mrs. Jackson who let me know. She said Barbaro was lying down when she saw him, and he was in good form. He has now moved back to his old stall and had some form of bath today.
update, 2 pm, thursday, december 14

Posted by Alex at 6:59 PM | Comments (311)
Barbaro Updates: 156
Posted December 13, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 1182: No Barbaro update yet this morning. It was very foggy at Fair Hill this morning, and again nice and warm for this time of year. I took Hawty Creek up “Goat House Hill” … she basically had a nice gallop outback up a little bit of an incline. She is doing pretty well at the moment, and should likely work a half a mile on saturday. Gator Nation was again a pleasure to gallop first set this morning. He actually winnies at you when he thinks he’s going to train, I swear I have never come across another horse that does that! His half sister also galloped on the track today. She’s only been here a few short weeks but is really going nicely, learning how to switch leads and so forth as she gallops.

Here is a newscast from Mike Schuh from the press conference yesterday: Barbaro Makes More Improvements With Injured Legs.

Update 1181: The media at the press conference really picked up on the notion that Barbaro may be released from New Bolton soon. It is here, here, here, here, here, here and here (I am sure elsewhere too). Steve Haskin actually wrote about the purpose of the Press Conference: Barbaro Fund Receives Donation from Sale of Miniatures. I thought the big news was that Barbaro has no bandage on his right hind leg.

Here is a quick update on Ouija Board.

The Barbaro update will likely be later this morning.

Update 1180: My New Bolton visit today (wednesday).

This visit had two purposes. To hang some more posters on the fence line of New Bolton, and to attend the press conference: Breyer Donating Portion of Barbaro Figure Proceeds to New Bolton Fund. I had arranged to meet Skyler at New Bolton to help me with the former task. Skyler called me as I began putting up the new posters and helped me finish up. Fortunately the rain was tapering off, so it became a nice pleasant task. We then drove (independantly) to the New Bolton parking lot as Skyler wanted to buy a couple of sweatshirts from New Bolton, and I was attending the press conference. As we walked in we met Tom, driving in to take care of Barbaro (groom, outside to graze etc.) It was a brief but fun meeting. Once inside New Bolton I said goodbye to Skyler and went into the press conference. I was quite surprised by the number of media in attendance, but I guess I should not have been, it is about Barbaro!

Before the press conference started I chatted with Mr. Jackson, and as we were chatting of course quite a few people would stop by and join the conversation (not because of me you understand …) It was fun being introduced to some other media folk. Dr. Richardson stopped by, it was at this point he informed us that the new shoe was applied yesterday at around 4 pm. He also mentioned there was now no bandage on the right hind (when I heard that I was hoping to hear it again later, so I was not mistaken). Anyway, soon the press conference began.

Those “behind the table” at the press conference were Tony Fleshman, boss of Breyer, Dean Joan Hendricks (Penn Vet School Dean), Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and Dr. Richardson. Mr. Fleshman spoke first, and very eloquently about the horse, the mission of Breyer and how honored they were to raise money for the Barbaro Fund (or something like that anyway). Dean Hendricks spoke second. She highlighted the preparedness of work of a place like New Bolton, and the new spotlight Barbaro had placed on veterinary medicine and horse racing alike. Mrs. Jackson spoke on behalf of herself and her husband. Again she was very eloquent, humble and a little amusing. The final speaker was Dr. Richardson, whose remarks were also quite light-hearted and upbeat. There was clearly a very different atmosphere to this press conference than to the previous one in July.

Dr. Richardson then took questions. He confirmed Barbaro does not have a bandage on his right hind leg, and that the new special shoe was applied at about 4 pm yesterday. Dr. Richardson reiterated that Barbaro has hurdles in front of him; he has “a long way to go – we have come a fair distance” was a direct quote. When asked about his current condition he noted that he walks daily, and was likely out now (at the time of the press conference, and of course knowing Tom was there at the time I guess he was right). I am hoping some of the news organizations that were there today recorded the remarks as there was some interesting detail I could not capture. Basically his left hind foot is in a bandage (no shoe), the right hind the fracture has healed to the point where no additional support (bandage) is necessary. The leg does not look entirely normal, but he can get around on it, and he’s a happy horse.

Dr. Richardson was asked how long Barbaro would remain at New Bolton. The answer: it depends on many things, but he could leave New Bolton “in the not too distant future”. Dr. Richardson was asked to clarify what that meant, and with a smile he said sometime from after the press conference to when he retires (I am not sure who “he” refers to in this statement).

Dr. Richardson noted his weight was 1132lbs. It fluctuates a little. He is eating well, he has good flesh, all his vital signs are normal, and his coat looks beautiful (I can attest to that).

Dr. Richardson was asked how long it would take the for left hind foot to be normal. It could be years, and he will never have a completely normal foot. He has some hoof wall (fair amount I think was Dr. Richardson’s term), but it will be a few months before he can get a shoe (glue on shoe).

I asked about the shoe applied yesterday to his right hind. It is “special” in the sense that it is designed to provide additional support and includes an extended heal (again, I hope this was recorded as there was some interesting stuff described). It is not a normal looking shoe. It is also a glue on shoe.

Dr. Richardson noted how smart the horse was, and how this has aided his recovery. He also noted how steadfast the Jackson’s had been in supporting their horse, visiting twice a day. Dr. Richardson suggested (with a grin) that they were simply checking up on his work.

All in all, an upbeat press conference. I chatted with a couple of people before leaving. On my way out I met Lisa from NY, who was visiting with Kennett Florist. The tree looks very cool!

Update 1179: Barbaro remains comfortable. Although I did not hear directly from a visit, I was at a press conference at New Bolton Center for the Barbaro Breyer model. Dr. Richardson spoke, among others. He then took questions. I will provide a more detailed report on my visit in the next update, suffice it to say that the key things I learned:

a. Barbaro had his right hind shoe changed yesterday, 4 pm
b. Barbaro no longer has a bandage on his right hind leg (yes, you read that correctly)
c. The Barbaro Breyer model raised $114,710 for the Barbaro Fund