January 31, 2008 -- Pfizer Animal Health and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have joined forces to help fund laminitis research through the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund. The partnership's aim is to increase awareness of the fund across the horse industry and encourage further support of cutting edge research into laminitis prevention and treatment.
Owners, trainers and horse enthusiasts alike can contribute directly to the work of the Barbaro Memorial Fund online at RidingwithBarbaro.org. Information on the donation site and the fund's goal will be featured in 2008 Pfizer Animal Health advertising for several equine products, as well as on displays in select retail outlets across the country and at major equine events. Riding with Barbaro awareness bracelets will be available as part of select display promotions.
"Laminitis is a potentially devastating disease that affects horses at all levels of equine sports and across disciplines--from great Thoroughbred champions like Barbaro, right on to recreational horses loved by their riders and owners," said Kristin Ruff, marketing manager, U.S. equine business, at Pfizer Animal Health. "We wanted to help raise awareness of the fund's mission and encourage all kinds of horse people to donate what they can toward finding a cure."
"Pfizer's generous contribution and commitment to promote the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund will help further his legacy, both as a courageous and gifted racehorse and as the inspiration for promising new research on equine health," said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA.
The entire horse industry and horse enthusiasts around the world watched Barbaro's story unfold after his tragic injury during the 2006 Preakness Stakes. Despite the heroic efforts of a team of leading veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, it was laminitis that finally ended Barbaro's life in January 2007. While Barbaro will always be remembered for his courage--both on the track and while facing injury--his owners wanted his legacy to benefit all horses.
"Gretchen and I hope Barbaro's memory can be carried on through advances in medical research, including a cure for laminitis," said Barbaro's owner, Roy Jackson.
More information on Barbaro's legacy, as well as how to get involved with the Barbaro Memorial Fund and make a donation, can be found online at RidingwithBarbaro.org.