Breyer Donating Portion of Barbaro Figure Proceeds to New Bolton Fund
When 2006 Kentucky Derby champion Barbaro began his recovery after his career-ending injury in the 2006 Preakness Stakes, the nation began a vigil unlike that held for any athlete, much less a four-legged one. And although his race for survival is not over, Barbaro and his medical team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's George D. Widener Hospital at New Bolton Center, triumph daily against the odds, amid an outpouring of international support and media attention that the horse world has not seen since the days of Seabiscuit.
Today (Dec. 13), that support will be made even more tangible when Breyer Animal Creations will visit New Bolton Center to present a check for approximately $115,000 for the Barbaro Fund to the Dean of the School, Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD, the Gilbert S. Kahn dean of veterinary medicine.
"We are very proud to be able to make this gift to the Barbaro Fund." said Anthony Fleischmann, president of Reeves International, Inc. Breyer's parent company. "When Barbaro was injured, I realized Breyer was in a unique position to both honor a great champion and do some good on behalf of Barbaro for all the thousands of horses who rely on New Bolton when they are hurt. We were honored when his owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson agreed and we thank all of our loyal customers who helped us make this donation possible."
Many of these customers, who are both avid horse fans and model horse collectors, urged Breyer to create a model of Barbaro after seeing his heart-rending breakdown at the Preakness. The rallying cry was, "Breyer, Make Us A Barbaro," and the company received hundreds of emails with that title. The ever-growing model horse hobby had a new equine hero they wanted to commemorate. It seemed an ideal way to recognize a great horse and help other horses at the same time.
So Breyer, known for its portrait models of the world's most famous and best-loved horses, created a portrait model of Barbaro and $10 from the sale of each has been donated to the Barbaro Fund.
"We are pleased and honored that both the Jacksons and Breyer Animal Creations recognize the importance of supporting animals like Barbaro in their time of need with this generous gift," said Hendricks. "These funds, as with all gifts to the Barbaro Fund, will go directly to improving equipment and services at the George D. Widener Hospital at New Bolton Center."
Daily, the veterinarians and technicians at the New Bolton Center work wonders for horses of all breeds and backgrounds, from champions like Barbaro to beloved children's ponies. Barbaro has been a model patient, handling his recovery as bravely as he ran his races.
Breyer's Barbaro model is available at retailers nationwide. It includes a certificate of authenticity signed by chief of surgery Dean W. Richardson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, trainer Michael Matz, jockey Edgar Prado, and Breyer's Anthony Fleischmann. Each model has Barbaro's name stamped on the belly in gold ink. It is packed in a customized, four-color Breyer box featuring pictures and text that tell the story of his career.
For more information on Barbaro see www.vet.upenn.edu.
For more information on Breyer horses see www.breyerhorses.com.