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My Guy Barbaro

A Jockey's Journey through Love, Triumph and Heartbreak, by Edgar Prado, with John Eisenberg; Harper. Paperback, 202pp, RRP $US13.99. ISBN: 978-006 146419-5.

June 22, 2009

Who could forget the dramatic life-and-death struggle that faced champion racehorse Barbaro three years ago?

His story is unforgettable - and inspirational. A champion racehorse is injured in his prime and undergoes months of repair, recovery and rehabilitation. Just as it seemed he would make it, his story seemed to end badly and suddenly. But Barbaro continues to have an impact on the equestrian world, in health research, particularly laminitis; and equine rescue - particularly that of retired or "spent" racehorses.

Inspirational too, is the story of his regular jockey, Edgar Prado. Born in Peru to a poor family, he could then have rightly been termed an underdog in the racing game, but talent and determination has taken him to the very top.

To recap the story: Barbaro wins the Kentucky Derby in 2006, and looks likely to be a Triple Crown contender. In the next leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, Barbaro shatters a hind leg. An X-ray of his leg is pictured at right. His owners and a team of veterinarians rally to save him, and the world follows every small step and every complication with baited breath.

But a fairy-tale ending was not to be - Barbaro succumbed to laminitis in January, 2006.

Several books have been written about Barbaro, but possibly none to date have been penned by someone with such a close connection to the horse. Prado indeed developed a rapport with Barbaro, and when he was recovering at the New Bolton Centre in Pennsylvania Prado and his family paid several visits to the horse. Most were private and unheralded to the media, which seems to be Prado's way.

His story and his relationship with Barbaro will strike a chord with anyone who has ever loved and lost a special horse.

» More on Barbaro
» BOOK REVIEW: Barbaro: the horse who captured America's heart

 

 

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