This is a statue of George Washington. No, not that George Washington. He is arguably the most famous American citizen of all time. However, all that changed back on May 20, 2006. That fateful day marked the beginning of a timeline which robbed us of an American Hero.
Yes, that courageous stallion cut down in his youth by inbreeding and God’s Dice. What a journey he led the hearts of America on. First he was going to die, then he was probably going to die, then there was hope; and then he died.
For eight months the nation wept, prostrating to the equine gods in the hopes of saving one of our own. But those fateful gods whinnied and shook off some fleas, relieving themselves on our prayers. When it became obvious that our sweet, sweet pony prince would not survive, we knew the mares had spoken.
January 29, 2007 will always live on in my mind as the day the music died. I’ve used that day as the benchmark for my life, counting the lengths I trod in memoriam, hoping to reach the quarter pole that our dear friend could not.
Thankfully, the good people of Churchill Downs have decided to honor our fallen hero in the only way possible: bronzing the s%*t out of him.
Thank God we are finally getting around to honoring the true heroes of this great nation. Now we all can celebrate Barbaro the way he should be cherished: taking pictures next to him while his cold, lifeless eyes stare back.