Since late January, Pfizer Animal Health and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have joined forces to help fund laminitis research through the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund. Pfizer Animal Health displays, featuring "Riding with Barbaro" awareness bracelets, will appear in select veterinary clinics and retail outlets across the country and at major equine events. Due to the strong response thus far, Pfizer Animal Health will be expanding its number of display locations and manufacturing thousands of additional bracelets for public distribution.
"We joined with the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund to help raise awareness of the Fund's mission and the need for laminitis research," said Kristin Ruff, marketing manager, U.S. Equine Business, at Pfizer Animal Health. "We have received enthusiastic support for our displays featuring Equimax and the Barbaro Memorial Fund Awareness Bracelets. In fact, the reaction thus far has well exceeded our expectations."
The partnership's aim is to increase awareness of the Fund. Owners, trainers and horse enthusiasts can contribute directly to the work of the Barbaro Memorial Fund online at www.RidingwithBarbaro.org. Information on the donation site, and the Fund's goal, will continue to be featured in 2008 Pfizer Animal Health advertising for several equine products.
"We thank Pfizer for its support of the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund, one of our industry's ongoing initiatives to promote equine health and safety," said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA. "Pfizer's generous and sustained commitment will enhance Barbaro's legacy, both as a courageous and gifted racehorse and as the inspiration for promising new research on equine health.".
Horse enthusiasts around the world watched Barbaro's story unfold after his tragic injury during the 2006 Preakness Stakes. Despite the heroic efforts of a team of leading veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, it was laminitis that finally ended Barbaro's life in January 2007. While Barbaro will always be remembered for his courage - both on the track and while facing injury - his owners wanted his legacy to benefit all horses.
"Gretchen and I hope Barbaro's memory can be carried on through advances in medical research, including a cure for laminitis," said Roy Jackson who, along with his wife Gretchen, owned Barbaro.