Monday, May 30, 2011

Alex Brown & Barbaro

If you're involved at all in the horse world, chances are you've heard of Alex Brown.

If you haven't, he is and was a web master (for the internet - it's not a fancy riding term!), and also an exercise rider for such big race trainers as Tim Wooley and Steve Asmussen. He's also the man behind the site linked above, Alex Brown Racing - which has become a community, resource, and information site for not only fans of Barbaro, but all people opposed to horse slaughter.

Who is Barbaro? He was a phenomenal race horse whose life ended too early. He won the Kentucky Derby in 2006, and was injured in the Preakness. He survived the surgery to repair his leg, but sadly succumbed to laminitis while he was healing. Everyone thought that Barbaro was the Secretariat of this generation, and that a Triple Crown winner would finally exist after almost 30 years.

Alex had a chance to spend time with Barbaro while he was healing, and decided to write a book about Barbaro, what made him great, and what made him inspirational.
Alex came up to our neck of the woods last week to do a talk at the North Salem Library. Unbeknownst to us, he chose to donate $10 of every book sale to Akindale. I can tell you that not every author has a way with an audience, but Alex kept everyone interested and engaged with his personal anecdotes as well as what he learned from the people closest to Barbaro.

I haven't delved very deep into the book yet (he signed the book to Matt, and it now resides on his night stand, so I may have to wait in line!), what I have read has been wonderful. Interesting, exciting, and the illustrations and photographs are second to none. A lot of heart went into this book, and it would be a fantastic addition to your collection, whether you're a horseperson or not. Want to buy one for yourself or as a gift? Click here.

The next day, Alex came up with Akindale Super Volunteer Stephanie and had a tour of the farm with she and Erin.

Here's Alex sharing a moment with Prospector's Flag, who won $280K for Akindale back in the day. (Photo by Stephanie Cowser)

Alex made his way up to our training barn, where he happened to run smack into me riding Angelo! I think Angelo knew he was in good hands, look at him leaning into Alex! (Photo by Stephanie Cowser)

It was a pleasure and an honor to have Alex come to visit Akindale, and we're really grateful for his generous donation based on his book sales. Hopefully through Barbaro's legacy, we can continue to work together to improve the welfare of all horses.

1 comment: said...

Great article KC!
The thing that was so surprising to me was that although the subject matter may seem sad, the book struck a hopeful note. Since Barbaro's death, so much awareness has been raised about so many issues related to racehorses, and yet, the book wasn't *heavy.* It's a surprisingly fast read and I'm sure you'll love it. :)