(edited press release)
The NBC Sports documentary "Barbaro: A Nation's Horse," premieres Sunday at 5 p.m. (EST) on what would have been Barbaro's fourth birthday. A special one-hour look at the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner, who touched the hearts of horse racing fans and animal lovers around the world last year, "Barbaro" reviews the Thoroughbred's impressive six and a half length win at the Derby, his dramatic injury, and his amazing will to live that captured the imagination of the public. The film also examines Barbaro's legacy and impact on the future of horse racing and includes new footage of Barbaro's full brother, born just last week.
"It's extremely rare that an athlete stirs the depth of emotion among people that Barbaro did," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics, and executive producer of the documentary. "We were lucky enough to have a front row seat to witness the rise of this remarkable horse to win the most prestigious event in Thoroughbred racing, the Kentucky Derby. Sadly, we were also there for his devastating fall at the Preakness Stakes; and we were there to document why his subsequent struggle to live touched so many people."
"Barbaro: A Nation's Horse," which began production in January, includes rare footage of Barbaro preparing for last year's Florida Derby, as the colt was beginning to display his incredible athletic abilities. The documentary also includes interviews with Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Barbaro's owners; Michael Matz, his trainer; Edgar Prado, the jockey who rode Barbaro during both his winning turn at the Kentucky Derby and at the Preakness; Dr. Dean Richardson, the head of surgery at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, who cared for Barbaro through his final hours; and Peter Brette, Matz's assistant trainer who worked most closely with Barbaro.
DVDs of "Barbaro: A Nation's Horse" may be purchased at ExclusivelyEquine.com, with 50 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Barbaro Fund and the Laminitis Fund at the New Bolton Center. The Barbaro Fund was created when an anonymous donor made an extremely generous donation to the New Bolton Center; the Barbaro Fund supports ongoing patient care and expansion of the George D. Widener Large Animal Hospital, Penn Veterinary Medicine's world-renowned clinical, research and teaching hospital. The Laminitis Fund is specifically geared towards researching this incurable disease that took the life of both Barbaro and the great Secretariat.
"Barbaro" was produced by Emmy Award winner Rob Hyland.