Barbaro’s Feet Won’t Touch the Ground in New Memorial Sculpture at Churchill Downs
This 2006 Churchill Downs photo suggests the pose captured by sculptress Alexa King for Barbaro’s memorial statue, which will be unveiled this spring at the Louisville, Kentucky racetrack.
The public unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue to celebrate the life of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro will take place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on the morning of Sunday, April 26, as the 2009 Derby Week begins in the city.
Production of the bronze statue is nearing its final stages under the direction of sculptor Alexa King. Her design captures Barbaro and jockey Edgar Prado in mid-flight between strides nearing the finish line, on their way to a dramatic victory in the 2006 Kentucky Derby.
The unique statue will be mounted on a horizontal bronze rail that will support the 1,500-pound artwork, creating the impression that Barbaro and his rider are suspended in air. It is the first time that an equine statue of this size and scope has been presented with all four of the horse’s feet off the ground.
The statue will become the focal point of Barbaro’s official memorial and burial site at Churchill Downs. It will be placed outside Churchill Downs’ Gate 1 and near the entrance to the Kentucky Derby Museum along with Barbaro’s ashes, which will be interred beneath the bronze. Currently, a bronze marker, featuring Barbaro’s likeness, marks the location of the future memorial site beneath a large magnolia tree.
The 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands is scheduled for Saturday, May 2.