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The Tragic Tale of Barbaro: The Race Horse Who Broke His Leg

The story of Barbaro, the famous racehorse who broke his leg during a race in 2006, is one that has haunted the hearts and minds of many equestrian fans around the world. A winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Barbaro was a world champion racehorse and beloved by many. Sadly, his career ended prematurely when he suffered a devastating injury during the 2006 Preakness Stakes.

Introduction to Barbaro

Barbaro was born on April 29, 2003, at the Lael Stables in Kentucky. He was sired by Dynaformer and out of La Ville Rouge, a daughter of Carson City. His owner, Roy Jackson, and trainer, Michael Matz, quickly recognized his potential and set him on the path to success.

Barbaro’s Racing Career

Barbaro began his racing career at the age of two, and quickly rose to stardom. He won his first race by a wide margin and went on to win several other races, including the Grade I Florida Derby, Grade II Holy Bull Stakes, and Grade I Kentucky Derby. He was favored to win the Preakness Stakes as well, but his career was tragically cut short when he suffered a catastrophic injury in the race.

The Injury

The Preakness Stakes was held at Pimlico Race Course on May 20, 2006. Barbaro was the favorite to win the race, but his fate was sealed when he suffered a severe fracture to his right hind leg. It was later determined that he had suffered a cannon bone fracture, which is often fatal for horses.

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The Aftermath

Barbaro was immediately transported to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, where he underwent extensive surgery. Despite the extensive care he received, his injury was too severe and he was humanely euthanized eight months later on January 29, 2007.

The Legacy of Barbaro

Barbaro’s story has become an inspiration to horse lovers around the world. His courage and determination in the face of adversity has become an example of the strength and resilience of the equestrian spirit. In his honor, the Barbaro Fund was created to raise money for the New Bolton Center’s Equine Protection Fund, which helps to support research and treatment of equine diseases and injuries.


The story of Barbaro is one of tragedy and triumph. While his career was cut short by a devastating injury, his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of horse lovers around the world. He will always be remembered for his courage and determination, and for his lasting impact on the equestrian world.