(Edited University of Pennsylvania press release)
The legacy of Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner, lives on at the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary school and hospital where he spent his final days.
“At Penn Vet, we try to treat every patient like a champion,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, chief of surgery at Penn’s George D. Widener Large Animal Hospital and Barbaro’s primary caregiver. “But for many of us, Barbaro lives on in our hearts.”
Barbaro's memory is alive in the hearts of many of his fans as well. Two of those fans came to New Bolton Center recently to present gifts to the Laminitis Research Fund. Laura J. Smith of Kenosha, Wis., made a donation of $3,619 that was raised through the sale of her Barbaro Christmas ornaments. In addition, Lyn Gilbert of Downingtown, Pa., presented a check to the Laminitis Research Fund in the amount of $7,000, which was raised by Fans of Barbaro (FOBs) from all over the country through the “Honoring Barbaro’s Life and Legacy Campaign.”
A total of $2.7 million has been pledged to The Fund for Laminitis Research, and last year Dr. Hannah Galantino-Homer was appointed as lead investigator of the newly created laminitis research initiative. Roy and Gretchen Jackson created a $3 million endowment named for Richardson that will be used to study equine diseases. In addition, the Barbaro Fund, which was created to help animals in their time of need, has raised more than $1.3 million, with the money put toward both needed expansion of the George D. Widener Large Animal Hospital, and the purchase of equipment. including a new operating table and recovery raft.
In November 2007, Penn Vet received a $1-million gift from Marianne and John K. Castle to support the laminitis research initiative. In addition to funding research in laminitis, the Castles’ gift will support the institute directorship, which will be held by Dr. James Orsini. When fully funded, the institute will include new research laboratories, funding for research projects at Penn Vet, and in collaboration with other institutions, a home-care treatment model, support for student research opportunities, and improved clinical facilities.
“The Castles’ generosity will allow us to take a significant step forward in creating a research institute dedicated to sharing and advancing the breadth of knowledge about this deadly condition,” said Dr. Joan C. Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine.