According to a press release Tuesday from the Leo Kesting Gallery in New York, “The Barbaro Memorial Statue” by controversial sculptor Daniel Edwards will be unveiled April 30, the week leading up to this year’s May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The press release states that the statue, courtesy of the Kesting Gallery, will depict Barbaro “in the winner’s circle, on his back, with his number 8 saddle cloth draping his belly, and hooves in the air, representing his inability to stand on his feet due to the debilitating laminitis which followed the shattered ankle he suffered in the 2006 Preakness Stakes.”
Roy Jackson, who campaigned Barbaro under the name of Lael Stables, would not comment on the statue other than to say, “We have absolutely nothing to do with it.”
The statue is planned to be unveiled in Central Park where a carriage horse ran into a tree and died after “being spooked by a street musician’s drum” last September, according to the release. The carriage horse, named Smoothie, will also be memorialized by an Edwards statue that will be displayed at the Kesting gallery.
According to the release and Web site, the Barbaro statue is part of an effort to draw attention to the horse protection issue. The release said the Web site would include a petition urging Congress to “pass a law that would arm consumers with the truth of the perils of horse racing by requiring racetracks to disclose race-related injury and fatality statistics."
Barbaro drew international attention in his quest for survival after being injured during the Preakness (gr. I). The scintillating winner of the 2006 Derby eventually succumbed to the infirmities of laminitis and was euthanized Jan. 29, 2007.