SCULPTING THE WIND: THE MAKING OF THE BARBARO MEMORIAL STATUE
possibility. In the first few moments of the Preakness Stakes, the second of the three Triple Crown races, BARBARO shattered his right hind ankle.
In the weeks and months following the injury, BARBARO drew national media attention as well as a huge fan following. People from around the world became attached to his story and eagerly awaited news on how his recovery was progressing. As one newspaper article stated, "...The 2006 Kentucky Derby winner's fight for survival was their fight, a symbol of strength, courage, and comfort - and, more than anything else, a source of inspiration". Despite all hope, BARBARO lost his battle for life on January 29, 2007, eight months after his initial injury.
After his death, BARBARO's fans anxiously awaited news as to where he would be buried. After nearly a year of waiting, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, whose Lael Stables raced BARBARO, made the announcement that his ashes would be interred with a memorial at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, the site of the Kentucky Derby. An artist, Alexa King, was commissioned to create a life-size sculpture of BARBARO - she was selected from about 100 artists who sought the honor of being able to immortalize BARBARO in bronze.
The film tells the story of artist Alexa King's journey while creating a 1.25 life-sized bronze of BARBARO from the time she first began work on the statue through to the final step of seeing the artwork unveiled by the Jacksons during Derby Week 2009.
The thousands of visitors who have visited Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum since 2009 have marveled at the majestic statue that greets them on the plaza outside Gate 1. The 1,500-pound bronze statue depicts BARBARO as he was all out to win the 2006 Kentucky Derby. An urn containing the great son of DYNAFORMER out of LA VILLE ROUGE lies beneath the bronze statue.
How King, who was then living in Wisconsin but later relocated to Kentucky with her husband Erc Bolland and dogs, came to be chosen for the project and the pains-taking work that went into the final product that so many race fans enjoy is now depicted in this documentary. "You just never know when you pick up the phone what the next job request is going to be," Alexa said of having the opportunity to even be in the running for the statue. A horsewoman, King transformed her two-car garage into a studio in order to build the statue. The viewer is taken through all the steps undertaken by the artist, including formulation and building of the frame on which the bronze finish would later be applied at a foundry in Colorado.
"He (BARBARO) outran the wind," the artist says in the film. "He ran faster than that."
BARBARO became more of a hero for his battles off the track than for his triumphs on the track. While most of the mainstream media stories ended after his death, BARBARO's fans remained loyal and followed anything related to him. The BARBARO fans became somewhat of a new culture, grasping onto anything that was associated with the horse. A group called the "FOBs," or "Fans of BARBARO," developed to keep BARBARO's memory alive by assisting with horse rescues and raising funds for equine health research.
Not only does the statue represent a famous moment in horse racing history, but it also signifies an achievement in art, as well as achievements in equine health and rescue.
This is an insightful and informative look inside an artist at work. It is more about the artist than the horse, but is certainly a feature that will be enjoyed by any horse enthusiast.
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|