Barbaro’s owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson received a Special Eclipse Award in 2006 for their outstanding acheivements in, and contributions to Thoroughbred Racing. This was the year their relatively obscure operation, Lael Stables saddled not one, but two undefeated starters in the 2006 Kentucky Derby, Florida Derby winner Barbaro and Coolmore Lexington Stakes winner Showing Up. It was the first time ever that two previously undefeated horses represented the same owner in the Derby. The same year, their homebred George Washington became a top European miler.
In addition to their 30 year tenure in the horseracing world, the Jacksons are known for their humanitarian efforts and involvement with various charities.
Gretchen Jackson serves on several educational boards, including U Penn’s veterinary school, Springside school, and Anna House, a child care facility for families of backstretch workers at Belmont Park. She is also a tireless advocate for the Anti-Slaughter campaign.
The Jackson visited Barbaro almost every day during his stay at New Bolton, bringing his favorite treat - fresh picked grass from their West Grove farm.
Following the loss of Barbaro, the Jacksons gifted a three million dollar endowment to U Penn’s New Bolton Center. a chair position named in honor of Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson, who was Barbaro’s primary veterinarian.
Gretchen, a dedicated horsewoman for over 50 years and Roy, former owner of a minor league baseball team met in the 11th grade. The Jacksons have four children and ten grandchildren.