(edited press release)
Through Saturday, May 5, more than $230,000 had been raised in support of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Charities – Barbaro Memorial Fund, the NTRA announced May 10. Most of the money has come from the sales of blue “Riding With Barbaro” wristbands, available at racetracks around the country and online at www.ridingwithbarbaro.org. Only 30,000 wristbands remain from an initial order of 100,000 placed by the NTRA.
The Barbaro Memorial Fund was created to raise awareness and money for equine health and safety research in the name of Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Barbaro, winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), whose gallant struggle to overcome a catastrophic injury captivated horse enthusiasts around the world. Monies raised by the Barbaro Memorial Fund will support equine research projects, including those that focus on laminitis, the painful and often fatal hoof disease that plagued Barbaro for so much of his recuperative period following his injury in the 2006 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
In addition to wristband sales, key contributions and support have come from the Triple Crown racetracks (Churchill Downs, Pimlico Racecourse and Belmont Park) and NTRA-member racetracks throughout North America. Other contributors include NTRA Purchasing Partners Dodge, Hallway Feeds, John Deere, Sherwin Williams, Office Max, and UPS; as well as The Blood-Horse, HRTV and TVG. Jockey Calvin Borel and trainer Todd Pletcher have also made cash pledges to the Fund based on their winning performances in the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), respectively.
“We are deeply grateful to all of the Barbaro Memorial Fund contributors for stepping up to support this important initiative for equine health and safety,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. “This is a wonderful salute to Barbaro.”
In all, 35 North American racetracks/organizations are participating in activities benefiting the NTRA Charities – Barbaro Memorial Fund. They are: Arlington Park, Assiniboia Downs, Belmont Park, The Blood-Horse, Calder Race Course, Canterbury Park, Churchill Downs, Dodge, Delaware Park, Emerald Downs, Equine Wellness Foundation, Golden Gate Fields, Hallway Feeds, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, Hollywood Park, HRTV, John Deere, Keeneland, Kentucky Derby Museum, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Mohegan Sun Casino, Monmouth Park, Northlands Park, Office Max, Pimlico Racecourse, Prairie Meadows, Ruidoso Downs, Santa Anita Park, Sherwin Williams, Suffolk Downs, Thistledown, Turfway Park, UPS, Woodbine and Zia Park.
Racetracks and other organizations will be holding additional fundraising initiatives throughout the Triple Crown. The blue “Riding with Barbaro” wristbands, priced at $2.00 each, will be available at Pimlico and Belmont Park and also remain available online. Those wishing to make cash donations to the NTRA Charities – Barbaro Memorial Fund may do so at www.ridingwithbarbaro.org. All contributions are tax deductible.