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Barbaro Trots Back Into Obscurity

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It's been a few months, but let's play word association. "Barbaro."

No, not the cartoon elephant. That was Babar.

No, not the tropical island. That's Barbados.

Come on. You know this one. He was a horse. He won the Kentucky Derby. Remember, we were all in agony when his hind leg broke mid-stride during the Preakness?

Well, he's still recuperating from the broken leg, and it sounds like still no one's sure if he'll survive. But now that the national pandemonium has turned to other pressing issues like Ozzie's dirty mouth and minor league managers getting ejected, Barbaro can munch his oats without being bombarded with throngs of letters that read "GET WELL BERBARO!! love, payton age 4."

Half the battle is Showing Up.But even those in the horse-racing and betting-for-cool-G's industry have forgotten — to some extent — the Derby winner. Barbaro's former stablemate Showing Up won a $1 million race in Virginia, the first race in a series of five that could net his owner $5 million.

And Showing Up is in the running to win the Eclipse Award, which goes to the year's top 3-year-old horse. After the Kentucky Derby Barbaro seemed like a shoe-in (horseshoe-in?) but Showing Up, by merely showing up, could show up his former stablemate.

Stop me before I pun again.

I'm not bragging that I was never on the bandwagon praying for Barbaro's well-being. He's a horse. Lots of horses break legs. OK, I so am bragging. You got me. But it was odd that once Barbaro's leg broke, horse racing's yearly allotted time on horse racing was devoted to a broken bone.

For example, quick — name the winner of the Belmont Stakes. Look if you must, but once it was "Affirmed" that no horse would claim the Triple Crown we all stopped paying attention to the healthy horsies.

It's not that I vest much interest in the sport — on the contrary I tune in solely to make fun of the horse's names — but it would be refreshing to see that horse racing can rebound from the loss of a star. If this Showing Up horse becomes the next big thing, hopefully the sport can return to normal.

But if he breaks his leg, then all bets are off.

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About Suss

  • Vince F

    Man, lighten up. Jealous that a horse is more thought of than you? I guess, it’s Only a horse, but he had special abilities and wasn’t able to show what he could do. If you were a highly touted sprinter on course to win all the medals and broke your leg in the start of one of the races, you would get a lot of sympathy. Well, maybe not You. People would throw dirt on you and go watch Idol.

    VF

  • http://timwoolleyracing.com alex

    we run a site with Barbaro updates, if you take a look at it you will see plenty of people stick care about Barbaro: Tim Woolley Racing. The site went from 6 visits a day (for about 2 years) to about 1800 a day at this point, 5 weeks after the horrific accident. It is also getting about 500 comments a week. Seems to me people still care despite mainstream media moving on to other things I guess.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    A guy who said people would throw dirt on me if my leg broke is telling me to lighten up.

  • LyndaP

    Matthew,

    Please, before you make ignorant comments like this, please understand what you are talking about. I get people at my job and at school that ask me how Barbaro is doing. The only people who have forgotten him is the media, who would rather talk about baseball players on drugs or rabid soccer fans. If Showing Up becomes a star, people will recognize those silks and remember Barbaro. They will see the Jacksons and remember Barbaro.

  • Shelby

    I was a horse owner for more than 35 years. I had to have my last horse put down this past year at the age of 30, I delivered her when she was born. I care about all horses. But Barbaro’s story touched my heart. I still want to know how he is doing. I find it sad to hear people saying “it’s just a horse”, when horses were resposible for carrying humans to war,to town, accross a nation,they carried our mail, plowed our fields. They were an important part of our lives. And now “It’s Just a horse” The old saying goes “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of Man”.

  • Peg

    I have no clue why you have anything to do with animals of any kind, much less horses,,,although at least from this article, there is certainly a resemblance between your attitude and a certain part of their anatomy, and I don’t mean the end that goes into a bridle…if you know what that is.

  • Cheryl

    I look for any news can I find everyday about Barbaro. Don’t pretend you know how people are feeling towards this wonderful horse. Once again the media doesn’t know what they’re talking about and think their views are the same as the worlds.

  • M.J.Riggs

    What insensitive rhetoric. This “writer” is clueless regarding the tremendous amount of affection and concern the majority of the American public feel for Barbaro. Your ill advised comments are not appreciated or understood and better kept to yourself,Mr. Sussman.

  • Kathy

    When reading your comments a lot of things come to mind and yet one especially stands out — insensitive boor!

    I certainly hope that you neither own pets or other animals, nor are you planning to do so in the future.

    Your comments diminish both a great horse — yes, Barbaro is great, and might have been greater still but for a cruel twist of Fate (no pun intended) — and the efforts of his fantastic connections and the veterinary staff that is sparing no effort to save the life of this extraordinary creature.

    Racing will recover from this tragedy. As you noted, Showing Up gives many of us reason to cheer on the Jacksons in yet another capacity.

    Having Showing Up to follow and cheer for, however, will never replace the special spot in our hearts, minds and souls that will always be reserved for Barbaro.

    Now, if YOU only had a heart. . .

  • Therese Dyer

    Mr. Sussman,
    You have got to be joking, right?
    For there would be nothing more satisfactory right now for all of Barbaros’ fans, (and there are many, as you will see throughout the day as they respond to your very insensitive words) for his stable mate, Showing Up, to have a successful run at the Turf races. Go Go Barbaro..Go Showing Up, and Go Away Mr. Sussman!!!

  • DYLAN

    Your aritcle was tasteless and cras.
    Quite obviously you do not see the UofPenn site
    with over 41000 messages,messages which are still posted hourly to Barbaro.
    You article is offensive and if a reflection of your true colors than sorry I am for you.
    Read the emails and weep,for the Barbaro has become an inspiration and hero for many people who otherwise might have either given up or just continued to suffer.
    Amazing that such mediocrity as your article could abound in this world, that drowns in pathetic lack of something or someone to believe in..

  • Animal Lover

    I wouldn’t waste my time!

  • Daphne

    Wow, Matthew, how misinformed you are! Barbaro trots back into obscurity? Where have you been living? What’s the opposite of obscurity? Take a look at New Bolton’s website to see how many people have forgotten about Barbaro. Take a look at Tim Woolley’s website to see how many people have forgotten about Barbaro. People who were never interested in horses or horse racing, have been touched by this horse and have become interested in many of the issues facing horse racing. It sounds like to me the only one who has forgotten about Barbaro is you. Have you also forgotten about having a heart, Matthew?

  • Leslie

    Dude,
    Why are you picking on an injured horse? Why dont you “trot back in obscurity” yourself and let the rest of the world revel in the miracles of modern veterinary science? Bobby WILL make it….while your name will swirl down the drain where it belongs.

  • Margo

    Matthew,
    I hope you wrote your article about Barbaro just to get some attention for yourself. Some people will attack a horse who is fighting for his life in a hospital just to achieve some personal publicity. I don’t associate with people who would do things like that, mind you, but I realize that people do cruel things like that. I don’t know you, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you are actually a nice person who loves animals. But you should know that you offended me and many other people by what you wrote about Barbaro. There is too much negativity in the world as it is, so why do you want to add more to it?

  • Therese Dyer

    To Leslie, comment #14….couldn’t have said it better myself…Well done!!!

  • mish

    Really have to say I found your article disgustingly insensitive. Maybe you just wrote it to get some attention. I, my family, and many friends check on Barbaro every day and look for all articles we can to see how he is doing. My children delight in being able to e-mail him and keep him in their daily prayers.

    I’m sorry for you that you cannot see how great or how loved this horse is.

  • Lynda

    Too bad your comments are completely contrary to what the race trainers are have been trying to convey, that this entire thing shows that they do care and are in it because they love the horses. You care to ask Edgar Prado why he rides? There are so many more jobs where you don’t have the opportunity to get killed 7 or more times on an 11 race card.

    I’ve never believed that race trainers or other connections to the horses are heartless.

    I have, however, always believed that sports writers aren’t too smart and probably aren’t great athletes and are pretty heartless when it comes to humans or horses.

  • lynnette

    Matthew Sussman,

    I’m sure you enjoying the comments your blog is receiving regarding “Barbaro Trots back to Obscurity” is getting. You revel in these types of comments…

    [Considering what The Fulton Report, Toledo Free Press is like and the type of person you seem to be (by reading your public bio)]

    Like previous comments were made – why not do the same with the sports drugs, etc., (which are ‘supposedly heros’ to our children!!).

    Your column not worthy of anything else..

  • Vicki Jasch

    Bararo still has a long way to go. I get updates on him every day, and pray for his full recovery. You are totally ignorant on the matter. I wish Showing Up all the best in his career, but Barbaro is Barbaro. He had a great racing career ahead of him that was snuffed out by a terrible turn of fate. Maybe you can do us all a favor, and snuff yourself out too. I can’t imagine anything you have to say in the future would be of any interest to me. The thing that always amazes me is people like you who are not afraid to put in writing, and display your total ignorance.

  • Linda

    Your comments are totally out of line.
    It is a discredit to the news that you are allowed to even write a article.
    ” What goes around – Comes around”

  • mcverrell

    Stick to making fun of horses’ names–maybe that is or can be humorous (with the right writer. I certainly will not attempt to track your effortsd own because this article suggests it is unlikely you can write anything funny or entertaining. It does illustrate that people who think they are funny or all-knowing, however, can instead achieve the opposite by demonstrating how woefully crass and ignorant they really are.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Fair enough, now let’s see a show of hands of people who didn’t like this column.

  • Mercy Turano

    Why don’t you check and see how many emails, cards, packages and $$ Barbaro has raised to date??? Last time I checked donations to The Barbaro Fund at New Bolton were at $560,000 and all for just a “horse”….not to mention the awareness he’s bringing toward protecting horses. Barbaro was just getting started and it’s always sad to see an athlete at their peak have an unfortunate accident. It’s just too bad the same can’t be said for you if you broke your hand and couldn’t write……such a shame!!!

  • http://timwoolleyracing.com alex

    Matthew, what surprises me most is you don’t seem to have a response to the obvious fact, people DO care about Barbaro. You were simply wrong. There is no harm in being wrong, there is harm in not recognizing when you are wrong.

  • Jeanette Cavalier

    To Mr. Thinks he can write: You have really stepped out-of-bounds with this article… Barbaro happens to be a “Champion” that thousands of people all over the world are concerned about. We will continue to follow Barbaro’s recovery no matter what you may say or try to say that is so critical of such a beautiful horse. By the way, the Wizard of Oz is looking for you………he has a “brain” and “heart” to give you.

  • http://www.fund4horses.org/info.php?id=601 Suzanne Hewitt

    Hey there “sportswriter”. I guess you think you know a lot about horseracing? You are an idiot and have used a horse’s injury for your own gain. We don’t have to forget about Barbaro to appreciate Showing Up, Jazil, Deap Impact, or Noble Stella. Heard of the last two horses?

    Why don’t you use your blogspace to urge people to end horse slaughter (H.R. 503 to be voted on by June 30th, call your reps people and vote to ban it permanently). But you wouldn’t do a thing like that; seeing as all you give a rip about is yourself. This is the most idiotic “article” I have seen in a while.

    There is a place where people like you trot into. It is indeed called Obscurity. A place where Barbaro will never traverse.
    -suzanne

  • Kate

    This answer section has in bold letters, PERSONAL ATTACKS ARE NOT ALLOWED. But apparently publishing an article attacking a poor horse who is fighting for his life is OK? Tell me Mr…hmmm I can’t remember your name….we’ll just call you Mr Obscurity, what have you accomplished in your lifetime, beside this lame attempt at witty journalism.

  • Jill

    Well, if your intent was to anger thousands of people then you’ve succeeded, but not without leaving a very insensitive, unimformed, unpleasant and mean spirited impression of yourself. You are certainly a lost soul. Wonder what Babaro would see if he looked in your eyes.

  • Juliet

    I can only imagine that in the lack of any lime light shed on this individual, there is a shot taken at an amazing horse and an amazing story. You really don’t have any clue about the collective response that has gathered around Barbaro, nor do you have any clue that every day he is walking and thriving – it is a miracle. It’s pretty sad the way that you go about creating attention for yourself. Negative attention is better than none at all – right?

    I pray for Barbaro every day, and as a horse lover and owner, will continue to do so until he is thriving and living a pain free life….

  • JoAnne

    ** My hand is up and Im waiving it!!

    People, stop responding to this jerk. He is neither sensitive, nor a writer. Maybe a career in pathology would serve you better, and leave the sports writing to folks who can write and have blood flowing through their veins.
    Go to Gool School, buddy!

  • Mary Simpson

    The news media have always responded to what is violent and GRABS the headlines to sell papers. There is more to life than such superficial action news. Lovers of Barbaro and followers of the Jackson’s will remain. We all search for updates every single day. If the main news media don’t carry Barbaro’s progress, we will find it elsewhere. ‘”We have greater depth of interest and concern than the average news reader.

  • trs

    Has anyone else thought that one reason why Barbaro’s owner has spent scads of money on his horse is to save his investment? Can you say “STUD”?

  • Walley

    Those of us in the horse world find your article extremely offensive. If you had the slightest idea of what goes into developing an animal of Barbaro’s caliber you would have looked at this misfortune in a much different light. For over five years thoes who produced this remarkable anamal have spent much time and effort to get him to the Derby. Several months of studying the blood lines prior to the breeding, eleven months of gestation, and after the foal is born the intense care to make sure that it is healthy and thriving. After the birth no one careing for the dam and foal can make a mistake. One mistake by anyone connectet to the animal can ruin the animal for life. After the weaning the foal has to be looked over like one would hope a parent would look over their child. If the stable boy, the vet, the farrier or the trainer screws up all is lost. It does not take much for a word smith to express their opinon but it takes much dedication to develop a great race horse than those of you in the media to put forth the divel you publish.

  • Judy Ann Senefeld

    The reason Barbaro stole everyone’s heart is not that he broke his leg. Anyone who has ever seen a champion, being it human or animal, knows just how special that is. I watched Barbaro win the Kentucky Derby at Ameriquest Field just before the Yankees beat the Rangers. I am also a horsewomen who instantly knew that if Barbaro stayed uninjuried that the world would finally see a Triple Crown winner. The fact that jockey Prada could pull that horse up so quickly is a credit to him and that horse. A racehorse wants to run, but this horse knew that his life was at stake. The data that is being collected from this surgery will teach doctors and vets how to fix injuries that before this could not be fixed. I read every update on Barbaro because as a human being I want and hope for the best in everyone’s day. I actually feel sorry for you that you can’t care about this horse and the people who actually love him. Remember, a champion is always a champion. Barbaro will long be remembered, but will you and if you are, why? Did you make the world a better place or did you just write ugly things about people and animals? The reason people are getting up in arms over this is Barbaro can’t defend himself. Barbaro, his trainer, owners and jockey should not have to read ugly things like this, either. You should be rooting for him, because just deserves it! For a shinning moment, the world had another hero to look up to. Everyday that he gets better he proves that courage is more than winning. Sometimes it is just proving the odds wrong.

  • Susan in Tampa

    Do you even have a clue that people who could care less about the ‘sport’ of horse racing are now suddenly interested?

    The horse racing industry has gotten a ‘just in time’ resurgence due to the poor unfortunate accident that Barbaro suffered. The HORSE RACING INDUSTRY is HUGELY INDEBTED to BARBARO!

    TV interest for the Belmont Stakes waned until it was announced that there would be live coverage of Barbaro! Many of us watched ONLY to see a glimpse of Barbaro! Personally, I turned it off when the race started.

    It’s BARBARO’s welfare and ‘good news’ of his continued recovery (albeit tempered with warnings that he still may not survive) that HIS FANS want to read about! Not your blathering about ‘Do you know who won the Belmont Stakes?”

    Barbaro’s owners (M/M Jackson) recognize the outpouring of well wishes and prayers for Barbaro is the manifestation of people loving a horse whom they’ve never met and making him their own.

    Human competitors are aware of disasters that may strike them; animals aren’t. Animals ask for nothing and do their ‘job'(happily), oblivious to the possible dangers. That’s what makes it so heart breaking when animals are injured, or die, doing ‘our’ bidding. They are innocent to the foibles we, as humans, ask of them.

    Barbaro came through for the Jacksons (6 of 6 winner, including the Derby) and he gave the spectator public one helluva romp in the Derby! THAT’s when we fell in love with Barbaro!

    Yes! We can tell you who won the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby!

    Though the Triple Crown was not meant to be for Barbaro, M/M Jackson have created a ‘Crown’ for Barbaro of his own. They have made lemonade out of lemons (if you will) by starting the ‘Barbaro Fund’ to help other animals whose owners may not have the financial means to provide them with expert medical care.

    Another manifestation of Barbaro’s misfortune / sacrifice, The Bolten Center (where Barbaro is receiving life saving care from Drs Richardson, Sweeney and staff) has been blessed with world-wide publicity and recently received a $13.5 million grant from the governor of Kentucky for facility expansion (only AFTER Barbaro was admitted as a patient!). God works in mysterious ways.

    Barbaro wasn’t meant to only win horse races — he’s creating a better world for the HUMAN RACE!

    Mr. Sussum, your credentials state you are first and foremost, a COMPUTER GEEK who aspires (in your own mind) to be a writer. Don’t quit your day job — you’re with like company. Computers don’t have a soul.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    This Sussum character sounds like a real douchebag.

  • Tracy in Louisville, KY

    You’re obviously clueless about courage. Otherwise you would recognize it in Barbaro, his owner’s Gretchen and Roy Jackson, his jockey Edgar Prado and his doctor Dean Richardson and the staff at the New Bolton Center not to mention the vast majority of the American public. You would be wise to get off your “high horse” (no pun intended) and spend more time looking in the mirror. I have a strong suspicion you won’t like what you see. Oh, and by the way “Matt”, I sure hope you never break your leg. You wouldn’t get any prayers from this audience.

  • Tracy in Louisville, KY

    To Suzanne Hewitt, comment #27. Thank you so much for your comment on H.R. 503. The bill, that if passed, will be a huge step in ending horse slaughter in this country. If others reading these comments don’t know about the extremely inhumane and cruel treatment horses are subjected to on a daily basis at three foreign owned slaughterhouses in this country, I urge you to go to http://www.saplonline.org/horses.htm. Then go to http://www.congress.org. There you can enter your zip code and e-mail your congressman or woman and urge them to support H.R. 503.

  • http://somethingaboutchelsea.blogspot.com Chelsea Snyder

    Matt, I just wanted to say this in a public forum. I don’t know how you do it. With each simple and assinine of columns, you piss off an entire new demographic of people. I’m not even mad. That’s amazing. I’ll make you feel better and let it be known in a public forum that horses like Barbaro probably make up Bodhi and Ziggy’s puppy food … there. Now everyone can hate me. Everyone loves a new target running around on the shooting range. :)

  • http://www.fund4horses.org/info.php?id=601 Suzanne Hewitt

    Sorry to disappoint Chelsea. Thanks for reiterating the need for the vote. Although horses “like Barbaro” are typically not candidates for puppy food, many are (I say typically, because one of our finest horses, Kentucky Derby winnder Ferdinand, was slaughtered in Japan). And thank you Tracy for the extra mention.

    I love all these comments and I’m glad so many people feel strongly about our great, magnificent champion Barbaro.

    To quote from the film “Dreamer”, this is the way Barbaro will ALWAYS be remembered:

    “You are a great champion. When you ran, the ground shook, the sky opened and mere mortals parted. Part of the way to victory, where you’ll meet me in the winner’s circle, where I’ll put a blanket of flowers on your back.”

  • http://www.fund4horses.org/info.php?id=601 Suzanne Hewitt

    Woops. Winner, not winnder!

  • Autumn in Phoenix, AZ

    Mr. Sussman:

    While parts of your article both offended and outraged me, I must reluctantly admit that your response in post #37 made me giggle.

  • http://somethingaboutchelsea.blogspot.com Chelsea Snyder

    I met Mr. Sussum once. We hooked up, but quickly fizzled when he slept with my mother and stole my cat. Damn you, Mr. Sussum!!!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    As long as we’re taking requests, might I cherry pick through the comments and select my favorite lines.

    Comment No. 10: “…Go Away Mr. Sussman!!!”

    I was here first.

  • Mary Lou

    Give it up, Buddy. This is America’s horse you are talking about. I hope you are better to your software students than you are being to Barbaro.
    You are obviously CLUELESS.

  • Craven Morehead

    Ignorance breeds contempt. If anyone should be forgotten, it’s the author of this insensitive article that should be put out to pasture.

  • Susan

    If the writing were better in this piece, the puns fresher, or something was there to capture the imagination other than the negativity, Sussman’s piece might be worth the ink to print it. Luckily this blog didn’t sacrifice any trees.

    Fact is, the world still supports vestigial folks who “just don’t get it” about a lot of things, including their own humanity, but evolution requires that they be heard.

    By the way, people who actually work in the Thorobred industry wouldn’t use the slang “Just a Horse” to describe a Derby winner, especially one who later showed all the world he was a hero. I’m wondering why somebody who presents himself as a sportswriter and writes a piece on Thorobreds would expose his ignorance that way. Do your research, gentle writer, before you blow your cover again, and then come back and write us a piece that reflects a better understanding of what’s going on outside your own ego.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Dear Susan, the only souls who have used the phrase “just a horse” appear in the comments. That phrase appears nowhere in my article. You’re not the first person to make that mistake though.

  • Susan

    Matthew:

    This article is really ALL ABOUT YOU, Matthew, my boy, and your need for attention. Kathy (Comment #9) said it most articulately and speaks, I think, for most of us.

    Yes … IF ONLY you had a heart, indeed.

  • Susan Hopkins

    I am Susan #50. My comments/opinions are my own, even though Susan #48 and I share similar views.

    Clearing the air,

    Susan Hopkins

  • T. Ruth

    All of you people that are ripping Mr. Sussman are a bunch of hypocrites. If you really cared about horses like you profess that you do, then you’d really be outraged by the fact that the horses are forced to spend most of their youth running in circles with a man on the back slapping their ass with a piece of hard leather.

    You really think the horse wants to be doing that? How about we strap a saddle and a 50 lb. sack of concrete on all of your backs and force you to run a mile? Not one of you would like it. But as much as a ‘fantastic athlete’ or ‘beautiful creature’ a horse may be, it certainly does not like it any better. It’s time for you people to get informed.

    Yes, feel sorry for the horse because it is stuck in this animal form of indentured servitude, and certainly one injured doing so. But there should be no sympathy for its’ owners. Any owner of a racehorse, as much as they say otherwise that they’re a champion of horses, does it for the money. They want to profit from it. Pure and simple. They’re the ones you people should vent your venom at, not a sports writer like Sussman.

    Here’s a pun for you people: It’s time for you to take the blinders off.

  • Gloria Davis

    What a pathetic article, Mr. Sussman. Forget about Barbaro? You must be kidding. He has our love, and always will. You, must be such an unhappy human being, I truly feel sorry for you.

  • http://murasaki.blog-city.com Purple Tigress

    There are those of us who haven’t forgotten Ruffian and those same people will most likely not forget Barbaro. These are the people who really love horses as opposed the superficial public.

    After all, people still visit John Henry.

  • Jeri

    What a jerk – I have never even heard of this guy

  • Alice

    Mr. Sussman may be crass, but he has a point about obscurity. Ferdinand won the Kentucky Derby but ended up in a Japanese slaughter house. Fortunately Barbaro has responsible owners who apparently won’t let him, or any of their horses, end up on the dinner table. Dinner no, obscurity? Probably.

  • Susan H

    The cynical reference to Derby Winner Ferdinand ending up on the Japanese dinner table — while relaying a sad truth — has missed the impact on contemporary politics. In the last 3 years — partly due to widespread outrage at Ferdinand’s fate — momentumn is gaining in support of legislation that will put an outright ban on shipping and killing horses for foreign food markets. That includes our wild Ameirican horses too, who are trucked, often inhumanely, to foregin owned slaugher houses. Many T-Bred racetracks (Including Churchill Downs) and owners (including Barbaro’s co-owner ) have signed on in public support of this bill. We can join the majority of the racing community by writing to our congressmen too. This issue is as much about how foreign corporations, with the help of the Dept of Agriculture, have done an end run around congressional orders as it is about racing.

    Back to Barbaro: His injury put the speed on changing to artificial track surgfaces. Helps horses, helps jockeys. It also drew huge publicity to the above legislation. History will show whether his broken leg is more a tipping point than a trip into obscurity. My money is on the optimist side, not the jealous cynic’s.

    In response to the bit about horses not wanting to run — people slap backpacks on all the time and high tail it up mountains. Look at the old footage of Barbaro. If he doesn’t want to run he did a good job pretending otherwise. Himself without a cynical, complaining, whining, loser bone in his body. Maybe that’s why we still care.

    IMHO — obscurity is the fate of those who fail to inspire, whether they walk on four legs or swagger on two.

  • Laura J. Burkhart

    I just got off the phone with Barbaro. He thought the column was a major hoot. Then he told me that all he wants is for people to feed him oats and carrots and leave him the hell alone. Oh, he also said that there is nothing more humbling than having a tiny man on your back, smacking you repeatedly in the bottom in front of a crowd of strangers.
    Thank You.
    MGNT

  • http://www.fund4horses.org/info.php?id=601 Suzanne Hewitt

    Earth to Laura, and T. Ruth. The horses that love to run are the winners. Horese were designed to run. In the wild they run miles everyday. Who knows, they may have a natrual instinct to race eachother even without the sport. How do you explain the wire to wire close finishers occuring everyday? Do you realize that these race horses get treated better than horses at any other time in history? I am an avid horseracing fan and there are no marks left on them after they are urged with a carefully designed whip, which incurs minimal pain. If it was very painful, the horse would rebel more often than not. Do you know what would have happened to Barbaro in the wild? He would have been left to die a slow and painful death.

    As for Ferdinand, in defense of his owners, once they heard about his possible fate they tried their best to locate him. I looked into it extensively through certain channels to find out.

    It is the US department of Agriculture who keeps finding loopholes around the ban of horse slaughter. The congress has voted already several times to ban horse slaughter, only to be trumped by the USDA. This is not horseracing’s fault. Not to say that all owners are perfect, but most have a deep connection, love and absolute awe of their horses.

    Vote to support H.R. 503 and quit complaining. The jockeys go through much worse than the horse does, and they do it for the thrill, out of their own choice. They would not take on such a career if it was not in their wildest dreams to battle down the stretch.

    In the meantime, I have been loving this debate and forum that Mr. Sussman began. It has only galvanized more support for Barbaro and the cause of horses.

    So, while I disagree with Sussman’s assessment wholeheartedly; I can rest assured that obscurity is not where Barbaro will end up.

  • Lynn Ellen Black

    Shame on you. I know that I shouldn’t reply…because that is exactly what you want. How low will you go to get attention? Well, you got mine….I wish you hadn’t. I don’t want to waste my energy on someone like you. Hope you don’t break a leg any time soon.

  • Laura J. Burkhart

    Mars to Suzanne,
    I never said that having a tiny man on my back, smacking me repeatedly in the bottom would be painful. I’m just saying it would deplete my self confidence faster than an all you can eat pancake buffet on a Sunday morning. I like racing, but saddles are itchy and jockies talk back.

  • Christine K.

    You don’t even have to break your leg… people will just throw dirt on you. Later Lucifer.
    You seem mean.

  • JT

    Great work Suss, I discovered this post from the MJD comments and I gotta say IF YOU ONLY HAD A HEART… ok maybe not.

    Reading these comments has been hilarious, I welcome more lovely insight on what you can do if you ever broke your leg and from the people who apparently have a huge love for horses.

    I especially love comment #12. That’s just…fantastic.

    I’m by no means an animal hater, but damn, some people need to get a grip.

    I’d like to refer you to: killbarbaro on blogspot

  • Janice McDonnell

    Mister, you never trotted out of obscurity. It’s always better to be a has-been than a never-was. Alas, you’re a never-was.

  • SB

    Wow, I bet Barbaro is rolling in his grave.

  • Dan

    > “Wow, I bet Barbaro is rolling in his grave.”

    Are you sure that’s not a spit?

  • GymClassHeroes

    Suss,

    Great article. Just came over from “the website that must not be named”, ahem, deadspin and your avatar RULES!!!

    And to all the Barbaro message board enthusiasts, “GET A DAMN LIFE!”

  • RL in DC

    Quoting — “He’s a horse. Lots of horses break legs.” Any differentiation between the sentiment “he’s just a horse” (or “he’s only a horse”) and the above would be splitting hairs. Bottom line, when you insinuate that Barbaro was forgotten after the KD by the public, you were wrong. And while you obviously monitor the comments (since you interject snide comments every now and again), you haven’t the stones to even as much allow as you MIGHT have been wrong. But facts are stubborn things, and they’re a lot more persistent then your quibbling. BTW, it’s pretty low to crack on a four-year-old’s love of a horse. Disregards an animal’s suffering, out of touch with the popular mood, dismissive of a child — I haven’t seen such a complete indictment of a man’s character in a written effort since Mein Kampf.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    It took six months, but we finally have Godwinnage. I am Hitler.

    Thanks for comin’, everybody. Tip your waitresses!