October 8, 2015
Just thinking of you John Henry - you and Cathy Robie.
So grateful for the time I was able to spend with both of you at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Always with my love John
(Isaiah 11:6) 6 The wolf will reside for a while with the lamb, And with the young goat the leopard will lie down, And the calf and the lion and the fattened animal will all be together; And a little boy will lead them.
So it will be in the not so distant future when we will have access to nature's wonders in animals and never long again for an animal companion ever again, what joy God has promised for all us animal lovers.
Had the pleasure of meeting JH in 2006 and 2007 (I think) at KHP.
I knew a little of his legacy but did some serious research after meeting him. An amazing animal. So happy he was well taken care of and so sadly missed by many. Often these thoroughbreds are cast off after their revenue generating has peaked, it was nice to see such an amazing animal cared for to such a ripe old age. I will miss him dearly.
I saw Big John Henry win the Santa Anita Derby in one of the grittiest efforts I've ever witnessed. Does anyone know how many hands he was. He looked like a giant.
I got to visit with this great horse at the stable at the Kentucky Horse Park. So glad I got to see him while he was there!!! He was Greatness without Pretense!
He was simply the man. I was lucky enough to have watched him race in Southern Cal on numerous occasions. The energy and competitiveness he showed was like nothing else I've ever seen in any other horse. Go John Henry !
What I will always remember about John Henry was his incredible tenacity. I was always on edge watching this horse race. He didn't destroy his competition like a Secretariat but he was the grittiest competitor that ever raced. He was blue collar all the way and I think that's why so many of us still think of this horse and respect and honor his memory. RIP John Henry. They don't make horses like you anymore. Thoroughbred racing could use a few John Henrys today.
I love this horse. I'm writing my Freshman term paper on him! Wish I had had the opportunity to see him in the flesh. There will never be another quite like John! Rest in Peace, buddy! You deserve it. <3
I think about you every day big guy. You were one of my heroes!
Nice to see so many people here!
I'm a grown man, but tears still flow freely each time I remember how you stood in the middle of the track that day. And how the crowd reacted with cheers and tears. I'll never forget it,even to this day my eyes swell with tears for the little horse with the big heart.
I will never forget you John Henry. Greatness and Guts. Happy Birthday sweet boy.
I wish I had gotten to see you. I know you weren't the prettiest,or the fastest, but you had such heart. I will always remember you.
First of all, I have to confess that I'm not an avid racehorse enthusiast. However, as I was surfing through the tv channels many moons ago, I happened upon a horserace in progress, as the horses were being led to the gates. Now I don't know how John Henry got loose, but he did. He proceed to the middle of the track, and stood facing the crowd, as if to say, Yeah that's right, I'm John Henry. The crowd exploded in cheers, applause and a standing ovation. The race was delayed about 5 minutes as a result. It was one of the most amazing and memorable things I've ever seen. I was just giddy with applause and cheers myself. (yeah, I even had tears in my eyes, as I do now reading about John Henry). He was a true American inspiration to us all. In my heart you'll be missed. I love you man, you had heart.
Happy Birthday John. I will never forget you. Your spirit lives on. It was an honor to see you and one day I know I will see you again along with the other greats. I love you John Henry.
Today marks what would have been The Legendary John Henry's 35th birthday!! The Old Warrior.
John: Your fans continue to love you. Your fans continue to lite gratefulness candles in your memory.
Your fans continue to write on your blog.
I have such loving memories of you. You will always live in my heart, John~John.
I visit your statue every time I go to Santa Anita Race Track. Your legacy lives there.
always a sad day when a true champion passes, the kind of horse that came up thru struggles, to prove himself, as achampion among champions. He possessed true heart that made him great.
I MET JOHN HENRY AFTER THE FIRST
ARLINGTON MILLION HE STAYED IN OUR
BARN 13 AT BELMONT PARK( HE BEAT OUR HORSE IN THAT RACE KEY TO CONTENT)
ONE OF THE COOLEST HORSES I EVER MET
HE WAS WATCHING TV WITH HIS GROOM
The day I met you I knew you were special,as I walked threw the horse park and saw you standing there,your eyes were hard to see between the bars they looked sad ,you looked like you needed a friend to listen.I walked over to you and you and you leaned into my hand so I could pet you ,you looked pretty thin and I could smell that you were sick,it seemed that you were telling me that you were tired and know one was listening,my family kept yelling at me to come on but i just couldn't stop petting you ,I felt like I had to tell you it was ok to die... I have never had this type of experience with any animal before. I stayed and petted you as long a you wanted then you looked away and looked back at me and just slightly shifted your weight so I could no longer reach you and I new my time was over with you. As I walked away I new something special happened,it really wasn't something I could share or explain at the time. My family was waiting so I couldn't even read about you. You were with me in my heart the whole day and several days after that. When we got home from our trip I looked you up and read about you..I new you were really special from the moment I saw you..I thought it was funny that it said that you kick and bit but thats not the horse I met that day.. I will always remember that day with you. I would check to see if there was any news I had just happened to check the web site a day or two after you died I new you were at peace.
When I saw you it was Aug 2007 and it's Dec 2009, you just popped into my head tonight. REST in peace J H.
Thank you for that special time....
Hi John Henry. Just thought I would come by and give you some love. You are deeply missed and truly a legend. See you on the other side sweet little guy. ???????
always a sad day when a great champion passes. horses are god's most majestic creatures. They give their all and ask for near nothing in return.
"Whew",the thrill will never be gone! John Henry, the true spirit and strength of a champion. God Bless You.!!! Love, Jane(jockeyjane) Hudnell,Arcadia,California
On behalf of all of the people involved in the horse racing industry, John Henry will always be in our hearts. He is the true spirit of the thoroughbred breed. And, Thank-you, to all the great people involved in taking care of John Henry,at the Kentucky Horse Park. It is because of your devotion,love,and caring ,all of these years, many fans of this great horse. Actually had a chance to visit him in person.// To see pictures of John Henry,aging over the years,looking superb; he had a "Great" life. He lived it to the fullest.
I had a chance to be at Hollywood Park, the day that he was leaving on his journey to his retirement home.,in Kentucky. The
look of "Eagles", was still in his eyes.
I just stood and admired him. I had my riding helmet on, and he looked like he was thinking ,"Come-on,girl", Lets go.!!
, His personality and strength I'll always remember. John Henry, we love you. Tears of admiration, roll down my cheeks. I was honored, forever. Thank-you!
I watched John Henry run at Santa Anita in 1981 and 1982. He was a small gelding with a lot of heart and stamina. He was a great champion and had a long life at a great park who gave him wonderful care. I miss his spirit at the track but I have many great memories of him barreling down the stretch.
We will never foget you. You still are a champion in all of our hearts. Your heart was always bigger than the world you lived in. I always enjoyed watching you run and dig all the way to the finish line. You will be missed, but not forgotten.
I was saddend to here about the passing of John Henry. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Kentucky Horse Park. I still can't believe he's gone. I know I'll never forget him, I loved him the first time I saw him in person.
I remember you John Henry before you were famous When no one wanted you and didn't realize just how great you were You will always inspire me to do better that truly anything is possible You proved that
You will be missed. Gone forever, remembered always.
On my way to visit John in September 2007, I had the old folk song "John Henry" running through my head. I was driving up from Knoxville, Tennessee to get to Lexington by opening time at KHP. I sing in a chorus, and the previous night in our song circle, I told them that next day, I'd be seeing the *real* John Henry. So they all joined me in singing a rousing version of "John Henry" (the steel drivin' man). On the road to Kentucky, I thought it would be nice to have some words about my hero, the equine John Henry. I came up with the first two verses while driving, the rest after John died.
For John Henry. A Steel Drivin' Horse. 3/9/75 - 10/8/07
When John Henry was a young racehorse
Before he found his fame
He kicked his steel bucket clean out of his stall
and that's how John Henry got his name, Lord, Lord!
That's how John Henry got his name!
When John Henry won the Arlington Million
He was runnin' on down the stretch-
He looked that other little ol' horse in the eye,
and told him "I'm just gettin' started, better quit, Lord, Lord!
I'm just gettin' started, better quit!"
John Henry looked at Charlie Whittingham,
Thinking "A horse may be nothing but a horse,
But before I'll let one of your fine boys try and beat me
I'll run 'em all ragged 'round the course, Lord, Lord!
I'll run 'em all ragged 'round the course!"
When John Henry became an old man
He was beloved and esteemed
He came from farther back than many other fine horses
And the fire in his eye always gleamed, Lord, Lord!
The fire in his eye always gleamed!
The sound of thunder came rolling
We looked up with eyes open wide,
Is that a hurricane passing over us?
No, that's just John Henry hitting his stride, Lord, Lord!
That's just John Henry hitting his stride!
It doesn't seem possible that the world lost a Legend one year ago today.
You will always be my FAVORITE horse.
Months come and go. Days comes and go. Hours comes and go. But your legacy will be for Eternity.
I'm sorry I couldn't make the unveiling of your statue at the horse park.
Santa Anita race track will have a life-size statue in bronze. Your statue will have a "famous" shadow roll, as you are walking through the paddock towards the track to take on horses who want to challenge you!
We know who wins!!
I know you are happy and content running through your Celestial paddock with a beautiful Rainbow overhead... see you again, Champ!
It's been 1 year since your funeral at KHP. It was an honor to attend your goodbye ceremony and hear dignitaries that included the Kentucky governor and even Chris McCarron speak of your remarkable life. It was also an honor to meet the people who cared for you and loved you all those years. Your presence on earth served as a special inspiration and symbol to the common man of determination, heart and strength of will. These are the lessons that we carry and hopefully pass on to others. For this reason, you were so much more than a great racehorse. God speed John Henry. You'll remain in our hearts forever.
DEAR JOHN HENRY,
I NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO MEET YOU. I LIVED IN S.D. NOW I LIVE IN TN. I READ EVERYTHING I CAN ABOUT YOU. WHAT A WONDERFUL CREATURE. YOU ARE THE DALE EARNHEARDT OF HORSE RACING. I HOPE SOMEDAY I WILL GET TO FINALLY MEET YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE. GOD BLESS! !
Big John: We came from Florida last summer just to visit you.What a great day! You were just as cantankerous as ever, but that's why you were so loved. Now its time for you to enjoy the green grasses of never-ending open fields, and running with the wind beside your friends who went before you. Rest in peace, old friend.
Dear John Henry,
It is so hard to believe that you left us 10 months ago this evening.
I know you are happy and content. Your incredible journey and legacy will live for eternity.
Saturday is the Arlington Million - the race you made famous! I'm sure your name will be mentioned throughout the day...the great gelding John Henry...won this race twice. Almost three times!!
In my heart forever.
Gone but never forgotten !
Dear John Henry~
Today is my husband's birthday. He is also named John. If it hadn't been for him I would have never known about you, Champ.
I'm sure he is enjoying watching you rear, buck and run in your endless celestial paddock.
All my love to both of you...see you at Rainbow Bridge.
In my heart for eternity...
John Henry, you had a heart of a lion and the soul of a sheep. You taught all who knew you how to give life their all and never give up. You will be greatly missed. Enjoy the great race track in heaven. We will all see you again sometime, God willing.
I wish I would have been able to see you but when my aunt told me that you died I was in tears when I heared about that I was upset too.
My wife and I visited the horse park last summer for the express purpose of seeing John Henry. Though we never saw him race, we had read about him and become fascinated by his American success story, and particularly his determination and longevity. He's the Brett Favre of horse racing, in our opinion, and we're grateful we got to meet him. RIP, John Henry.
My Dear Sweet John Henry - You meandered through life your way and not always being nice about it, BUT, the day I saw you at the Kentucky Horse Park, you let me rub and kiss your nose. What a wonderful creature you were and I miss you. Have fun with your friends now and rest in peace.
John Henry, even tho I never saw you race, I felt drawn to you on my visits to Horse Park. I was lucky enough to see you one last time on October 6, 2007.
Run free, you'll be sorely missed by so many.
Thank you, John, for your wonderful spirit. You are free to run with the best - Secretariat, Barbaro, Eight Belles (she is a beauty I am sure you know). If you meet a paint gelding named Sparky, he will love to play. He was your age when he passed a few years ago. Run free!
John Henry, I met you in 1999 and you were magnificient. What a true beauty you were to me....may you RIP. Run with Eight Belles, Barbaro and the rest of the gang. God Bless You.
Hi John John. I know your nice and settled now in your mansion with all of your friends. I got a message from an Angel this morning. I was asked to come and talk to you. Please do me and so many people in grief right now a favor. Yesterday as you know, was the biggest race in the world on the biggest stage at Churchhill Downs under the Twin Spires. Well now that Eight Belles has come to your side, please take good care of her and show her around OK? I know you feel for her cause you have been there. You have been on that track. You have seen a lot and yesterdays tragety was heartbreaking to all of us. God Bless Eight Belles and thank-you John for reading this message. I will Love you always......
John Henry i speak of you in present tense. For you are not gone from my memory. I will never foget the day @ Ky Horse Park you licked my hand. My friend a day will come we shall meet again. Gods Speed
Being born in the same year as John Henry, I didn't get to see him race very often. I do remember hearing his name as a child and what a great race horse he was. My last visit to see John Henry was August 2007. I took my husband (who wasn't as familiar with his feats) to see him. Little did either of us know it would be the last time we would get to see him. He certainly was one of a kind. We will miss him.
John, there is hardly a day goes by that I don't look at your picture, here at home or the one at work above my desk. I think of you so often. You are truly a cherished part of my life. I love you John Henry.
Thinking of you on what would have been your 33rd birthday on March 9. You will be forever loved and remembered. Those who wonder if horses are in heaven, remember this: "And I saw Heaven opened and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True and in Righteousness he doth judge and make war", "And the armies which were in Heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" Rev. 19:11, 14-KJV Though your dark bay color has now turned to white, you run free now in the lush green fields of Heaven. God Bless.
Happy Birthday John Henry!
Warm Summer Sun
Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.
By Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)The Poetry Foundation
John, we visited you many times in 2005 when we were living in Lexington. All our visitors were brought to see you. You were so stately and impressive, allowing the public to worship at your feet. You knew you were the best and there will never be another like you.
Hi John John.. Just dropping by to say that I love you. NO special reason. Just wanted to let you know that I always think of you and my love for you will never die...... Tell the herd hi for me K and give them all my love. :-)
JOHN HENRY MANY WORDS CAN EXPLAIN THIS HORSE BUT THOSE WHO WORK WITH RACE HORSES KNOW WHAT A LEGEND IS.HE RAN SOME RACES AT HIS EARLY YEARS HERE IN LOUISIANA.JOHN HENRY WAS THE HORSE.I MADE A TRIP TO ROOD AND RIDDLE TO BRING A HORSE FOR SURGERY AND HAD TO STOP BY THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK TO SEE THE LEGENDS OF HORSE RACIN AND GOT TO SEE JOHN THE DAY HE WAS LAID TO REST. JOHN WAS THE HORSE THAT EVERYBODY LOVE TO WATCH.JOHN YOUR MEMORIES WILL ALWAYS BE APART OF MY LIFE THREW HORSE RACING.ASLO I WOULD LIEK TO THANK THE HANDLERS OF JOHN HERNY FOR THE WORK THEY DID TO KEEP THE BIG JOHN HENRY AROUND FOR ALL OF US TO SEE
John Henry was an impressive horse and both of us will miss him very much. We enjoyed seeing him at the KHP when we visit a couple times a year from Cleveland. He is my wife's favorite horse.He was "King of the hill" in the Hall of Champions and it won't be the same on future visits without him.
The third and last member of the longevity club has returned to the Lord's paddock. No three horses were ever so good for so long as John Henry, Forego and Kelso!
What a horse! John Henry is truly a legend. Now he runs free throughout all eternity with the likes of Barbaro, Ruffian, Man o' War, and Secretariat. He was all heart, and I cherish his memory!
Merry Christmas John Henry. I love you very much and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas today with God.
i will never forget John Henry. the day after i saw him and was on my way home to new hampshire i got a call from a relitive saying he had died. it was a dream of mine to see him, im glad i did. i fell more madly in love with him when i saw him in person. much love John
John Henry will always be close to my heart. He is now a great legend that will always be remembered and he will be misses dearly!!!! John Henry rox the world!!!!!!! I love you!
I visited John henry in march 2007 he was an amazing horse he will always have a place in my heart
I miss him dearly
love you always John henry
john henry was a good race horse but noww he is just a good legend!!!(L)(L) fairwell buddie !!!
John Henry was a very special horse i enjoyed researching. On his birthday i sent him a birthday card!! I was looking forward to coming to Kentucky horse park to visit him!!! Unfortunatley i was not fast enough:( but i will still always enjoy looking at his pictures
The first time I saw John it was many years ago and there was only about 12 people in the Hall of Champions viewing area. He looked each of us in the eye and stood like the champion he was. I have never seen a horse do that again.
I visited at least once or twice a year for many years. Was slighty disappointed to see him cribbing, but soon realized that when I stopped trying to take his picture and calling his name that he stopped cribbing. Guess he had us figured out.
Several years ago I went to the gift shop to put my name on the list for a halter. A young clerk said it was a six month wait and since he had colic surgery he may not make it. Well I got my halter and have treasured it for years. Thanks to John for 20 years of inspiration and thanks to the staff for taking such care of him. My heart goes out to you.
John Henry - the Finest Equine in Horse Racing. My second lucky number is 32, and when you died at the age of 32, I knew it was a "sign" of sorts. You have been and will always be my favorite racehorse who ever lived. I visited you in 2003 and was amazed at how frisky and ornery you were, even at the ripe old age of 28! I know you are in a better place now, running and rearing and kicking like you did till the day you left this world. I Will Never Forget the Fighter. ~
John Henry - you magnificent steed. I felt compelled to drive 8 hours by myself to see you the summer of 2006. Seeing you was one of the highlights of my life. I'm not into racing, nor have I ever had a horse of my own, but something about you captivated me. Run free gallant one, and know there will always be love in my heart for you.
John, I'm so glad I'll see you again, because I know where you are now, and where I'll be someday.
"...the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God"
- Romans 8:21
BYE BYE JOHN HENRY,
I HAD THE HONOR OF MEETING YOU IN 1985 AT SANTA ANITA RACE TRACK. WHAT A GRAND PERFORMANCE YOU PUT ON THAT DAY, NOT RACING, BUT WITH YOUR FRIEND CHRIS MCCARRON UP, YOU PRANCED, SHOWED OFF, AND RAN THE TRACK LIKE THE WIND AS YOU SAID FAIRWELL TO YOUR RACING CAREER. YOU HAD A STANDING OVATION MY FRIEND, MUCH DESERVED. WHEN MY FRIEND WALKED ME BACK TO YOUR BARN THAT MORNING, I WAS MORE THAN EXCITED KNOWING I MIGHT JUST POSSIBLY GET TO MEET YOU. NEVER DID I DREAM I WOULD ALSO MEET YOUR GROOM, JOSE MERCADO, FEED YOU A CARROT, AND HAVE MY PICTURE TAKEN WITH YOU. I COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED HOW YOU WOULD COME INTO MY HEART THAT DAY, NEVER TO LEAVE. THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORIES.
REST IN PEACE JONN-JONN. I LOVE YOU.
You and Barbaro have fun running free in horse heaven. We miss both of you very much!
What a horse!! You will be missed by your fans. What an example of a rags to riches horse and an example to all the equine world.
You will be greatly missed. Everytime I stopped at the Horse Park you were always in my photo sites. I used up more film on you then I can count. This includes your first retirement at Keeneland Race Course. I was fortunate to be there one year when Ron McNally was there to visit you and give you your favorite treats. Thank you for all the joy you gave to me and all your other friends.
What a true honor it was to have worked with you at the Horse Park. I will always remember your cranky ways with great fondness. I hope you encounter my husband up there in heaven, as he sure admired you throughout your tremendous racing career. Take care, John. Blue skies and green pastures ahead...
John Henry. We will miss you dearly. I am sure you are leaving your hoofprints in heaven.
John Henry. I am not going to say goodbye to you. My words are simple. I'll see you on the other side. That day will come soon enough. I love you John Henry....... You made a difference in my life and left your hoofprint in my heart.
My husband and I were able to see John Henry for the first and last time November, 2006. There will never be another one like him. He will be missed. Rest in peace, John Henry.
only wish i had gotten to see you.
rest in peace JOHN HENRY. YOUR WERE ONE OF THE GREATEST!
My Beloved John Henry,
I'm confident my husband, John (who never got to meet you) stood next to the Lord at the Gates of Heaven. I'm sure when John looked into your big brown eyes for the first time he kissed you on the nose and said, "John Henry, it is an honor to finally meet you! Thank you for making my wife, Judy, so very happy. You brought such joy into her life. She knows she had to let you go but together, one day, we will greet her at the Rainbow Bridge. Come John Henry, let me take you to the greenest pastures you've ever seen to reunite you with your mother and father. You also have Barbaro, Secretariat, Forego and the other horses waiting to run with you. Run John~John! Run free with the wind through your mane and your ears pinned back...run free"
John~John the hole in my heart is as large as your empty paddock... See you at Rainbow Bridge Champ. XO
Every year for the pass 2 years my family hos gone to visit him as well the other horses. His passed birthday when we were there I gave him a birthday card that me and my horse crazy frinds made. I love you John Henry!!!
Gave'em Lip at the Scotch
Then Open'd the Door
To the Small Hall of Champions
For Others Who Wore
That Mark of Distinction
In Their Days of Yore.
The Springs Hall of Fame
Reminds Us Once More
Of Minutes at the Trackside
And Blankets that you Wore
We Cheer Again Your Greatness
To Have You in Our Lore.
Now Another One Deserving
Will Strut into the Hall
But Two 'n Twenty Years? Well,
I'm Sure We'll Always Call
The Second Box just to Our Left
That's "John Henry's Stall"
So sad you're no longer with us, John, but glad you're not feeling bad. In your 'IV League' garb, getting your fluids, you were still handsome and hospitable when I saw you in Sept. I wept then knowing you were nearing your time. How fortunate you were to have compassionate caretakers. Thank you All.
I, for one, can hardly wait to join you and the other Greats. You're where you deserve to be. Thanks for a life well-lived.
I followed him for 28 years. I loved John Henry.
In my mind, you are the best. You made my life much richer and gave me memories I'll never forget.
John Henry, How you enriched my life! Never did I dream I would have the privilege or pleasure of standing next to you in your stall. That I would get to hand feed you donut holes and peppermints. That I would get to HUG you!! Yes, you tolerated a hug from me. I think it was because you were so intelligent you knew I truly loved you and all I wanted to do was express my love and admiration for you.
I can only imagine the heartache of those people closest to you. I cry for you. I miss you. But I am grateful that you are not suffering. I am grateful I was able to say good-bye on October 8th. Yes, John~John, I was to celebrate my birthday with you again this year but instead I celebrated your glorious life!
I’m humbled and blessed because I’ve just recently had the opportunity of meeting Ron McAnally, Lewis Cenicola, Eduardo Inda and, last but not least, your groom and companion for many years, Jose Mercado.
John Henry, God created you “special”. The memory of you will burn in my heart forever. You left us on the #8: infinity. I’m sure in your wisdom that, too, was your plan.
John Henry, you were an amazing racehorse and got to the heart of thousands. It will be hard for a while to believe that you are really gone, but you have left such a wonderful imprint on your fans hearts it will be like you have never left. We will see you again someday when it is our time to go, but until then your presence will be from memories. I miss you greatly, beloved champion, John Henry.
Dear John Henry - You were a remarkable horse with a truly unique and independent spirit. You were fortunately blessed with a long life and a wonderful retirement. My husband and I thank your caregivers for taking such good care of you. You are a champion that will be greatly missed.
John Henry---- Thank you for all you have done for racing, for the Horse Park and for me, seeing you even in your final week is a memory I will cherish in my heart forever, for you are truly one of the greatest racehorses to ever step foot on a track. I will never forget you and the small time we shared as you gently took and ate your oatmeal creme pie cookies that I was lucky enough to be able to feed you. The Look Of Eagles in your eyes will shine bright forever in my heart. Rest In Peace Great John Henry
I feel so blessed to have seen the great John Henry on three occasions at the Kentucky Horse Park. He was a truly amazing horse with a big heart that belied his diminutive size. I remember watching him run up and down the fence, racing Cigar, and being amazed that this elderly fellow still felt the urge to win. He'll be greatly missed.
John Henry: May you walk into that Winner's Circle in Heaven with all your others who have gone before you. You wrote the book, Champ! Rest in Peace.
At the age of 10 getting to see the Hall of Champions was exciting. I was always facinated with John since we were the same age. John was a special horse in his own right. Exibiting the spirit of the Thoroughbred. I wish I could have seen you one last time my friend.
I would just like to say that it was an honor to be part of John Henry's Memorial Service on Oct. 19th. I was lucky enough to get one of his halters a few years ago. He will always hold a very special place in my heart.
John, you have been my inspiration for more than 20 years. When I came to visit you a few years ago it was a dream come true for me. I expected to admire you from a distance and was so honored to stand cheek to cheek with you that I cried. It was a moment I will cherish forever. Thank you Tammy & Cathy and all of the Kentucky Horse Park staff for your heartfelt kindness and devotion to John all these years. Love always from your number one fan in Connecticut.
We traveled to Lexington on Tuesday, Oct. 9, with plans to visit John Henry on Thursday, only to sadly learn about his death the night before. My husband, daughter and grandchildren saw him this past July. Our granddaughter, Sara age 7, was entranced with him. We left a picture of her with John Henry at his stall on Thursday, Oct. 11. We are so sorry we will not still be in the area for the Memorial on Oct. 19, but our thoughts will be there. He was one of the best and we are glad to have seen him when he raced and at his rest in the wonderful Kentucky Horse Park. Phil(Detroit Pee-Wee from his racetrack days 1958-1963) and Liz Marnon; Wayne MI.
You, our dear great champion will be so deeply missed by my daughters and I on our frequent visits to the park. You can smell the roses whenever you want. We love you.
My dearest and bravest horse. I never appreciated you as much as I should have until after I read your story. I am honored to have met you twice an the last 2 years. I came to Kentucky to see Smarty the first time but I came back to see you. I saw you you in April 2007 and I was sad to see you out in the bitter cold but that is where you wanted to be....outside doing life your way. I was planning to come in 2008 for your birthday but now you will celebrate in heaven. Thank you for looking at me when I took your picture. I will never forget your spirit, your strength or your soulful eyes. God Bless you John Henry.
I am thankful to the Lord for having seen you. I am thankful that you are indeed, the people's horse. You will always be my hero. May you be happy in the fields of the Lord. I still love you, dear old horse.
May the Sun shine on you always John Henry, I will miss you,Love Always. R.I.P.
JOHN HENRY gave us so much!He taught us to keep on striving amidst adversity and to have the tenacious spirit not to give up! He gave us something to believe in. Everytime I visited him at the Horse Park I came away with a wonderful excitement yet a sense of peace. I will always remember you and love you. Susan
Thank you KHP for allowing this touching ceremony to be telecast. It was filled with wonderful memories and humor, yes you could make us laugh with your feistiness and awesome talent on the racetrack. I met "JohnJohn" and he became my instant friend. JohnJohn was not "just another racehorse", he is a legend, with the guts, heart and will the size of the planet.
Dear JohnJohn, I have the photo of us on my wall, along with your friends Seattle Slew, Slew O Gold and Barbaro, along with a huge signed painting that I have had when you were still with us. I really don't have to look at them, I see you in my heart and mind. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER ONE LIKE YOU.
I had the opportunity to stand in the presence of true greatness a few years ago, it was an honor...
Rest in peace John Henry...
A special thank you to all those who cared for John at the Kentucky Horse Park and to those who planned and participated in the Memorial today. We feel privilaged to have briefly talked to those who loved John so much while we attended the ceremony. It was a special day and one that touched our hearts and souls. John's strength of will, his determination and his drive to be the best he could be is an inspiration to us all. Having named my son after John, I felt blessed that he could be along side me, my wife and my daughter to hear all the wonderful words spoken by those who loved this wonderful creature from God. He will be dearly missed but his story lives in us forever.
Oops I forgot. All of your humans need your address. :-)
Kelso & Forego Suites
30 Stakes Road
McAnally, Rubin, McCarron Building
Love You Always Sea Biscuit
Hi Sweet John Henry. I never knew you on Earth but I am just like you. I have followed your career since you were a little baby and you know what? I went through the same things you did. When I was little, no-one wanted me and no-one thought I was a worthy horse. I wasn't perfect and I was small for a race horse. I had crooked feet and people used to make fun of me. I will never forget it. I hung in there and guess what? All of the sudden I did the same thing you did. I was connected with a trainer and owner that saw my potential. They saw things in me that NO-ONE saw. They had faith in me. They NEVER gave up. Just like you John John. Now look at you. You were and are one of the biggest legends that the world will ever see. You showed people what John Henry could REALLY do. You amazed people. You shocked people. You made people cry of joy. Everyone fell in love with you because they saw what your beloved humans saw. They saw a ONE of a KIND horse that blew them into another universe. You and I are so alike. We never knew each other in the world but now that your here, I would love the honor to have you as a stable-mate. Did you know that I have had your stall and paddock all ready for you for decades? You will love it. It is just like what you are used to too. There is so much love here that is surrounding you that you will feel like you never left.
Your humans are sad now but if it is any consolation I would like for them to know that they too will be with you again soon. You see, in your Mansion here on the Estates God gave me, is a place for all of those that loved and took care of you. Just waiting for them to join you. I want so bad to tell them that you are only taking a temporary vacation from them. I hope that they somehow feel comfort in knowing that you won't be away from them for long. They will just need to Wait A While :-).
When your humans come to join you and you are all United again, they will then understand. My humans went through the same things. They were so sad when I came here but now the ones that took such good care of me (some of them) are here with me riding me all the time now. And you know what? It is if we never parted. I guess that in time your humans will understand. I have asked God to comfort them and to take care of them until they see you again. The tears will flow of joy again. Now they are sad. Soon though, they will be feeding you peppermints and all of your favorite foods like the CHOCOLATE DONUTS!!!!! Oh BOY!!!!! Until that day comes (which it WILL come), just enjoy yourself and have fun. You haven't been here very long. I have been here a long long time. Every-time a legend like you comes here, there is sadness with their humans. Oh how I wish I could tell them that is so way only for a little while.
Today is the day of your funeral. Your humans will be sad. I already know how many tears are flowing. I send them all of my love and all of my prayers. I send them all of the comfort that they can possible have. I see so much love in your humans. You lived a very good and long life on Earth John and now that you are home, you will always be happy and running free. In time, after your humans "Wait A While", they will look back on this day and say WOW..... We owned, trained, groomed and rode the most legendary race horse of all time. I know that God is with each and everyone of them today. May tons of comfort be with each and every one of them for how EVER LONG it takes............
Love 4-EVER Sea Biscuit
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May your memories of John Henry bring you comfort and joy. He will always be remembered and be in our hearts. Whenever I eat a chocolate donut, I will think of John Henry and smile.
My praise to the KY Horse Park for the very tasteful way in which this great horse was laid to rest and the honorary spot where he was placed. Being a Lex. resident and participating in a horse show this week, we were stabled in barn 1 facing the Hall of Champions from where we have watched the preparation and the grace with which the Memorial has been prepared. All done with love, admiration and tribute to this great champion.
I finally got to see John this year in person. I had seen his races on TV. He for me is what racing is all about. Not placing bets, but seeing an anmial with the courage and will to become immortal. It was a wonderful world with him in it, now
a much sadder one without him.
God Bless you John Henry.
Today, even though I could not attend in person, my thoughts will turn to Kentucky today. God Speed, John Henry. You will live forever in our hearts.
I miss John Henry so much already, and I can only imagine the grief of those who took care of him on a daily basis. You all have my deepest sympathies.
He was the ultimate racehorse!
I was able to see him once again when I visited the Park in August 2007 and I am so grateful for that opportunity. He posed in his paddock for several good photos for me. What a guy! You were one of a kind, John Henry!
A horse who will go down in history
for his outstanding record , but
also for his long life.
God bless John Henry you will be
John John. Long time no see!!! You look great... I am so proud of you and all of your loved ones for taking such wonderful care of you. They did a remarkable job! I see sadness in them now and how I wish I could tell them that you are so happy now running fast and free and seeing all of your friends that you love so much that came here before you. I send them all of my love and comfort through this rough time for them on Earth.
When you are done eating everything in Slews Suites and your tummy is settled come on over and see me OK?
I'll give you some directions......
Go past Seattle Slews Suites and turn left. This will put you on Belmont Stakes Road. It is a road with a few turns but just run free and have fun. Go around the corner and down the road for about a half of a light year. Then turn left again and left again not long after that. There is a road after that and it turns into a different name. It is a long one but don't worry, piece of cake. It is called BIG RED ROAD. Go straight down BIG RED road for 31 light years (it will only take you about a half of a second, not even that) and I will be here to welcome you.. I should probably remind you that you will be ALL BY YOURSELF on that road. If your tired, you can get on my back and I'll take you to my mansion. :-)
With all of my LOVE Secretariat
John John I love you too. I have been thinking of all your loved ones as well and all they have done for all of the horses. Come and see me too OK? I am all better now and in no pain. Can't wait to see you again. :-)
111111-1 Un-Defeated Road
Derby Champion Ave.
Edgar/Matz Mansion #8
Hi to the friends of John Henry....for those of you who haven't heard, Friday, October 19th at 2 pm eastern time, HRTV will be telecasting, LIVE, from the Kentucky Horse Park a memorial service for our special legend, JOHN HENRY.
Feisty JohnJohn....what a legacy you left us and what a legend you are. To watch you race always gave me goosebumps, you "whipped" everybody's butt, at the wire. To see the size of you and the guts and heart that was so huge, was so overwhelming. You thrilled us all.
Dear horse fans and those of us who adored JohnJohn. Tonight, Oct. 17th, on HRTV, 8 pm eastern time, they are having a special tribute to our LEGEND.
Welcome Dear Dear John... Trot on by and see us when you get settled in. WE Love you very much. We send our love to all on Earth that you left behind and wish them countless Blessings. We want them all to know that you are now in good hands and FREE with all of us... :-)
Slew & Kids Running Free
Slew of EXCELLENCE Road
I didn't know John Henry when he was racing but I have read a lot about him since I started following racing almost 2 years ago. I would have loved to meet him. I had been reading and printing all the updates on him and was sad to read that he was euthanized. I will miss him. Rest in Peace John Henry. Give them heck up in heaven!
Just like your racing days, partner, your body quit you, but never your heart. God bless you. Your pal, Alan
John Henry was fine horse and remembered always by those who witnessed greatness.
I love horses and have horses of my own. John was a special.
I followed him for years, he was a great horse.
We loved seeing John Henry when we visited the park in 1987.
John - may you rest in peace. I met you on a rainy day in October 1994 for the first time, and you must have been telling me to come again on 8/21/07. It was a rainy afternoon and you were in your paddock. I will be moving to your beloved Kentucky next year for my retirement, and will certainly be visiting you again!
My husband and I were fortunate enough to meet John Henry and my deepest sympathy goes out to all of those he brought joy to.
R.I.P John Henry, you were an inspiration to so many
We came to Lexington last weekend to see John Henry after hearing about his declining health...I prayed for days that he would hang on until I could see him once more. I saw him on Sunday morning for the last time and I am so thankful we made the trip. Thanks to all of you at the KYPark who have taken such great care of him these past years and especially these last few difficult weeks....We love you and will miss you terribly John!
John Henry was truly a great horse and such an inspiration to all of us. His accomplishments were so unbelievable for a horse his size--showed what a really big heart he had. I treasure the visit my husband and I shared with John Henry in 2006. Thank God for KY Horse Park and the privelege we had of visiting the great John Henry.
Please accept my deepest sympathies.I traveled to Kentucky to visit John Henry on July 4 2006 and saw him race in 1979 in the Massachusetts Handicap.Seeing him and learning more about him from his caretaker was a moving and memorable experience.
Bless you friend John. You have been and always will be a true inspiration because of the way you have lived your life in the manner and with characteristics only great icons possess. Thanks for the memorable conversation of 2004 and at your 30th birthday party.
Please find my Annie and our Paloose in your Great Pasture. They need to hear from you.
Thank you Cathy, Tammy and all, for the nuturing loving care, and your great senses of humor, you provided in John's wonderful Hall of Champions. He was truly an honest hero.
Thank you John Henry for the imprint you have left on this planet. Now we need to continue living it. Love you, Mary
God bless you, John Henry. You will always be our favorite of all the many, many Thoroughbreds we've known. You were one-of-kind, a real character and you defined the true meaning of "champ." We will always love you.
I came to see you three times and was amazed at your personality. You reared up to show off when I came to see you at the KY Horse Park. I wish I could have seen you again.
Good Bye, John Henry. Such a great champion, you will be truly missed. It was an honor to see you in person last month at the Kentucky Horse Park. You weren't feeling real good and i said a little prayer for you that day and whinnied good bye. Thanks for all you did here! Love you, say hello to Man O'War for me.
Bye Johnny. You will be greatly missed, but I know you are back young again. Thank you for all the great races and that spirit that was you.
John, you are a true leader among horses. Long may you run.
RIP John Henry. Well done. You will be greatly missed and never be forgotten by all of us who loved you and those who so lovingly cared for you for so many years. Run free in Heaven with all of your brothers and sisters!
Gosh, John, I first saw you at Santa Anita on 3/16/80, when you were a youngster of 5 and won the San Luis Rey (Gr I) at 7-1 odds and beat Flying Paster and everyone else. Man, you were so gritty and determined to get there first. I was only too sorry that I didn't have a bet on you then because never again would you go off at odds that high. But I became your fan forever. What an honor it was to see you race in person. And what a great one you were!
John Henry was very special. He had heart and alot of personality. I had the pleasure of seeing John several times. There won't be another like him again. Rest in peace John.
To everyone who has ever worked with this wonderful horse, my condolences. I know it must have seemed he would live forever--he wasn't one to go quietly in the long goodnight.
To John Henry, thank you a million times over for your performances on the track and bringing that same spirit into your retirement. I will miss you. May the wind be always on your back and the track rise to meet you.
We loved you so much John John. Thanks Tammy for taking such care and love for him. We will never forget you!!! You were the best!!!
Goodbye Old Man. You will be missed every day. I thank God that I got to meet you and see what it was like to stand in the shadow of a true legend.
John Henry's story and life inspires so many people. What an inspiration and guide for so many in trying times!
May heaven have an endless supply of peppermints for you---one of my dearest memories is being able to visit you in your stall and share peppermints. You were an inspiration to all--may your character and integrity live forever in the hearts you leave behind...Godspeed, vicki and daisy olivo
Our thoughts and prayers are with all who loved and adored you, and thank you to all who cared for you at the park. You are truly a Legend. Run free and unbridled forever in God's care.
A great heart and energy has left our world and moved on to another. Bless you John Henry.
Godspeed; you will be missed
JOHN HENRY YOU NOBLE SOUL
YOU WERE A SIGHT TO BEHOLD
YOU BEAT THEM ALL
THE MIGHTY AND THE SMALL
AND NEVER HESITATED TO PUT
ANYONE IN THEIR PLACE
YOU SHOWED SUCH CLASS
AS YOU SECURED THE BRASS
YOU WERE A MASTER ON THE TRACK
ALWAYS TAKING EVERYONE ABACK
WE SALUTE YOU OUR NOBLE CHAMPION
WE WILL MISS YOU OUR FABULOUS FRIEND.
VICKI, ISABELLA, VICTORIA
May you soar with the heavenly herd and enjoy your races with Secretariat, Whirlaway, Seattle Slew and all the other great racehorses in history.
To the Great John Henry,
You were truly one of a kind and I know you were warmly welcomed at the Bridge by the other greats that have gone before you.
Run free John Henry...run free!
John Henry was the first racehorse that I became a fan of. I loved watching him run and win on T.V. I cut out all the stories I could find about him. HE WAS TRULLY A SPECAIL HORSE. HE HAD THE HEART OF A LION....
It is not about just “a horse;” but about perseverance, dedication, motivation, hard work, and tenacity. It is about John Henry succeeding, winning, setting records, and capturing the hearts and spirit of thousands of fans all across the country for many years. And even now, 22 years after retirement, John still is an inspiration to many. John was not born into thoroughbred racing royalty; but worked, struggled, and fought valiantly for what he earned and accomplished. John Henry’s passion, will, determination and “heart” make him a true champion, and definitely a living legend!
He will be missed; but never forgotten!
I send my loving thoughts and prayers to John Henry and his family of many who knew him best and will forever love him.
the thought of such a loss makes my eyes swell with tears..There is no greater love or bond then the one with ones horse. May he rest in peace with my friends horse Thor he is in good company....Tally Ho
I am very sad about the passing of John. I've been nagging at my parents to go to see him since forever.
Its just hard to swallow, he seemed invincible.
"Class is the spirit to try one moment more."
And that is how John Henry lived his entire 32 years.
John, run fast and free in heaven. And know that there will never be one as great as you down here. Horse Racing has lost its brightest star.
RIP Jhon Henry your a true champ. you where knowen world wide All Great horses live forever sending my prayers to all at Kentucky Horse Park from stacey in Australia
I am new to horseracing but i have read everything and anything about you JOHN HENRY and all i can say is that you are the GREATEST THOROUGHBRED ever. My biggest regret is i missed your career.
Dear John Henry: We mere mortals will miss the immortal John Henry. Those you leave behind will never see the likes of you again in this life, but maybe in another, better place. So here's to greener pastures, bluest skies & a fast track--it'll have to be for such a great spirit as yours. I'll not say 'good-bye,' just 'See you at the finish line.' I love you.
What is there left to say that hasn't already been said here? You are loved by so many. I doubt I'll forget the day that Heaven brought you home - it was my birthday; after a day of celebration I came home to find the news. Even in your latest pictures, you still had dignity - you still had that breathtaking look of a Thoroughbred.
Heaven is better by another champion. Never stop running.
Lots of exciting memories of racing that had real iron horses running,esp JOHN HENRY.
Thanx, John....I last saw you in 1999 (day before Breeder's Cup) & you were still as ornery as ever. I know you're 4/5 on the grass in Heaven's BC Handicap!
John Henry, the king of kings, the champion of champions, and what a life--a life to be celebrated! I had the pleasure of visiting you twice in the past 8 years and I cried as you were paraded through the ring during the champion presentations. What an incredible animal! While visiting the horse park during the Rolex about 5 years ago, I purchased photos of you, and two John Henry t-shirts. I had the honor of holding you while your caretaker put your hoof autograph on my t-shirts. I have my photos, my t-shirts, a halter that you wore with your brass name plate on it, and a book about you, but my heart is broken and my life is going to feel so empty knowing that you are gone. Enjoy your freedom in heaven, and take good care of my wonderful pinto mare, Calypso. She will love running around God's green pastures with you. My ornery gelding, JJ, who I swear is related to you, will join you in the next few years and then what a time you two can have! Thank you for the joy you have given us, and showing us a life well lived. My love forever, Judy
Dear John Henry,
Thanks to Dr. John and his introduction of you to me, you will live on as a continuing inspiration. Thank you for showing us possibilities without limits.
Rest in Peace.
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life’s routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
One of the most touching momments in
my life is seeing Johh Henry at Santa Anita. It was the 1986 Breeders Cup. He was already retired but flown back to Santa Anita one last time. His groom led him out on the track for his "retirement walk";69,000 fans gave him a standing ovation for almost five minutes. I will never forget that day. He will be honored on on Sat 13Oct07 at Santa Anita.
My condolences to his caretakers. He was loved by all and I'm sure he returned the love in his own way.
John Henry sleep well dear friend.
You always be the Man John !!
John Henry was one of the most important Thoroughbreds in my life. Because of his exploits on the racetrack,I nicknamed a beloved, ornery, hardknocking race gelding after him some 23 years ago. He taught me more about horses and caring than I would have learned otherwise. It brought home the fact that these magnificant creatures give so much to so many, and we should work to ensure that other less famous race horses get the retirement they have earned.
Thank you for the wonderful memories John! Run fast and free!
Dearest John Henry; there are no words to express how far and wide your legend has traveled nor how many lives you have touched and inspired. John you will be severely missed; yet the tears in my eyes are from envisioning you racing again on heaven's perfect turf! You changed my life and I thank you for your enchanted and zealous spirit. ~ Always with peace and love; Barbara-Leigh "Stetson" Tonelli
Goodbye and God bless, Big John. I got to visit with you at the KHP in 2001 and felt honored to be in the presence of a living legend. You wrote a huge chapter in racing history. Thank you for your tenacity, your fire, your unique personality, and your will to live - we'll never see your like again. Your body may not be here for us to see but your spirit is everywhere racing fans are. Your impact on racing is immeasurable.
John--you brought so much joy to so many of us over the years and reinforced the belief that 'experts' cannot measure heart and spirit and none of us should ever give up believing in ourselves. You will be missed greatly but your spirit and legend will never die. Tell Barbaro "hi" for all of us. Love you both forever.
John was in great hands with everyone at the Horse Park for the last 22 years ! I big thank you to them and to John H for the memories. I am glad I got to see him this past Sunday morning munching on some frozen french fries !
So sorry for the personal loss of those closest to him.
John Henry is a legend and we were so fortunate to have him on this side of heaven as long as we did. I have had his original artist sketchings hanging in my home for over 20 years and have always loved him. Each year when we have the hunter shows in Kentucky, I never missed going by to say hello to an old friend and take him cookies. I am sorry for this loss of such a great horse, as he will be missed, but can only imagine that he is now running free of that old body (and biting someone too).
John Henry, you were the reason I bought a thoroughbred for my own. God speed and enjoy racing free.
John Henry, you will be sorely missed. What a brave soul you are, be kind to the horses in Heaven. My condolences and deepest sympathy to those you leave behind.
John Henry the true Champion. We saw you twice. You would jump up & down when you couldn't see Cigar. In God Speed. Say 'Hello to Secretariat,Ruffian, Barbaro. Betty Baehr in Gold Canyon, AZ
You are with some great ones now my boy, where you will fit in nicely. Greener pastures and brighter sunshine. Thanks for the memories.
I'd followed John Henry in the papers for a few years, and got to see him at the Meadowlands race. I was standing at the rail as the field came by the stands for the first time, and a lady next to me sighed and said, "Ah, he lost." I explained that they had another lap to run, and she perked up. John won the race of course; and as another has said, the crowd went wild. I'd never before realized the extent of his fan base. He was a true people's champion.
Thanks for the memories, and rest in peace.
Thank-you for the wonderful memories,John! You have given us so much and taught us so much. You showed us how to never give up,to keep on trying in face of adversity. People can learn from your example of tenacity and a great spirit! I did not follow your racing career as it was happening. I fell in love with horse racing a few years later. I learned so much about you and fell in love with you! I read your wonderful bio by Steve Haskin. I felt as if I was riding right there on your back with you. You won not only my love but my respect. I visited you several times at the Horse Pk. One time in particular was very special to me. One day after the ring your handler put you out in your paddock. You know, it was just you and I and you heard me talking to you plenty. A few times you stopped to listen and pose for me. Those pics are priceless to me because you posed just for me!Thank-you,John, for the wonderful ride! It was magnificant! Thank-you for giving just ordinary people something to believe in! Till we meet again,John,all my love! Susan
My condolences to all of John Henry's family and friends. I only got to see John Henry for the first time on 9-24-07. He was the highlight of my trip to Kentucky. I will remember it always. Thank you.
Rest in Peace John Henry. You are a legend to all. You are missed and loved by so many. I will never forget being at the KHP and hearing them say "Here comes John Henry, keep small children away!" No matter how old your body got, your spirit stayed the same. That is what everyone admires about you most. Have fun in the next world. Don't be too hard on your new friends. Send some homes to your OTTB friends. We love you !!!
Dear John Henry,
I had always been in love with the idea of you, your personality combined with your heart and talent that seemingly came out of nowhere. And then I visited the KHP this past spring the day after Street Sense won the Derby... You were no longer just an idea, you became intensely real. Thank you for being who you are.
Heaven just got much livelier...
My wife and I were so honored to meet you in 2005. Like a true champion you stood for all of us to see. You ran when they said you wouldn't, you won when they said you could not. And like a true champion you will run again...God Bless you John Henry
I knew John Henry growing up as my dad worked at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar Racetracks. I used to love to watch him run and I think that he will always be my favorite racehorse. I don't think there will be another one like him. John Henry, you will be greatly missed.It is hard to believe he is gone........It just seemed he would be here forever as cantankerous as he was! Run like the wind again John Henry and say "Hi" to my horse for me.
God Speed John Henry, Tell Barbaro I said hello!!!!!!!!!!
Although I never saw John Henry race, I have long admired his indomitable spirit and independent personality.
John Henry, may you now run free with those who have passed before you.
John Henry, you so truly touched my heart. I wish I could have met you and told you what a great horse you really are. I have read so much about you and you meant so much to so many people. You will be missed by all. You will be running with the greatest.
Thank you -
John Henry, you are one of the all time greatest horses... your big heart is one in a million. We have all been blessed by you someway... go run free now in the pastures accross the bridge.... for you are surely one of Gods angels with hooves.
God Bless you and all who have taken care of you..
I took this picture of John Henry two years ago in May 2005, when my husband and I visited him, and Cigar, at the Kentucky Horse Park.
He was quite a guy and has earned this rest. God Bless you John Henry.
Dear John Henry,
My friend Suzy and I disagree with print about how although indomitable and mightily courageous, you were no looker....not true! We think you are a thoroughly handsome-as-heck thoroughbred! One beautiful guy, outside as well as in. All our love to you old friend; what an incredible privileged to have known you. Thank you, John Henry, for doing so very much for so many. Lookout, dear Rainbow Bridge, here he comes, one tough cusomer, even for you!
P.S. John, please carry our wish to God for homes for all retired racehorses..they need Him so.
I remember you old man. You where a challenge to me. I worked with you on my ratations to the Hall of Champions when I was in KEI. I have been back to see you many times. I am so relieved to know that you are in no more pain. Be nice to the heavenly herd you now have joined, especially to my Shugar. You just might have met your match with her.I will miss you!! No other horse will ever grace your stall with the presence you did.
I glad I got the chance to visit with you last week and to pet you.
You are a true champion and one that no one would ever forget. I loved your guts and determination.
My deepest sympathies extend to all your connections and care givers. Thanks for keeping John
happy and sassy for so many wonderful years.
I am a 44 year old man who felt like a boy again in your presence when I first saw you in person at Ky Horse Park a few years ago. I cried when I heard of your passing, as I was planning to bring my kids to meet you last month but was not able to do so. I remember watching you race and remember the goosebumps raising on my arms as I realized just how awesome you truly were, and still are. You gave oh so much to our sport O Great John Henry....and we give you our Love in return. I miss you and your spirit my friend. Thank you for your fiery heart and your never give up racing attitude. We as humans can learn from what you have exhibited to us. With desire and heart we ALL can achieve what we set out to do, regardless of our perceived pedigree. Rest in Peace John.
John Henry, may the wind be always in your mane and may the sun always warm your wethers. RIP and run free with Barbaro. you WILL be greatly missed.....
I am extremely saddened to hear of the passing of a great Champion. My husband and I were just at the Park on Friday, Oct. 5th. and got a glimpse of you in your paddock. You even came over and looked at me and I talked to you and said what a great horse you were. I had to get my video out and watch your tribute to your owners, Sam and Dorothy Rubin from October, '03. What a hoot. Rest in peace, John. You will be missed.
We saw you race at Santa Anita and visited several times at the KY Horse Park. You never acknowledged us, but we have loved you for many years. We have had two "special horses" in our lives:
John Henry and Secratariat. You may not have had the "breeding", but you had heart! RIP, our friend.
Dear John Henry
I feel so saddened that you are gone. Rest in peace up in heaven and watch over all your fellow horses.
God Bless you for the people you touched.
I had the opportunity to see you at the Horse Park years ago. What an inspiration to horses & horse lovers everywhere. You were one of a kind.
Having lost a 14 year-old dog to Cushings a short time ago, I know what those closest to John went through these last few months. I know John wasn't "John" toward the end, but hold on to those great memories you have before he started his downhill race. My heart goes out to you. I regret never having seen John in person, but he will always remain my favorite horse. He was truly a steed apart and the memories I have of watching his races are more precious to me than diamonds. There will never be another John Henry. Rest in peace my friend, and please, when you race Barbaro don't beat him too badly!
You were one of the few that could be truly called CHAMPION. You didn't finish your career at three but instead kept running and winning when many of your competitors had grand foals. May you always have clear skies and may you and The Shoe hook up for another miracle.
I have been going and seeing John Henry for years at teh horse park. My kids always enjoyed seeing him. He will be deeply missed in peoples hearts and standing in his stall and paddock here in the great state of KY
I'm so glad I lived during John Henry's lifetime. What a legend and inspiration to all. He will surely be missed.
Race with the wind John Henry; my beloved Thor and all of the Heavenly Herd are surely giving you a kings welcome. You will be sorely missed, and the uniqueness of your soul never forgotten!
I never met you, but you were one of the finest race horses. You showed us humans, that pedigree alone does not make a great horse. Personality and the 'wanting to win' does make a difference. As you up there now with all the horses gone before you, and graze on green pastures, and drink from clear waters. When I see clouds in the sky I know you are up there with all the others running, and winning again. Please say hello to Ginger and Cash.
Sonja and her horse partner Simons Pleasure 'Simon'
The world has truly lost a legend...John Henry will live in our hearts forever.
You were lovely - in body and spirit - and are deeply missed. May you run with my Grey Lady over the bridge...
the grass is greener on the other side trust me
You may have been a stubborn horse, John Henry, but you were a "Great" stubborn horse. All the lives you touched are better for having known you. You will not be forgotten. Run with our horse angels now sweet boy.
You were the reason I became a horse racing fan, John. And your inaugural Arlington Million is without a doubt one of the greatest races of all time. It showcased you perfectly--your grit, determination, stubbornness, and heart. You continued to display all of those characteristics up to the very end. We love you, John, and we'll miss you.
You will be loved and missed. We will still come to visit you even though you are not there in flesh, as your spirit will always be there. Run free, 'thou shalt fly without wings' always and forever my friend.
My boyfriend and I are happy that we got to see John Henry a couple of weeks ago while at the park. He was obviously a well-cared for and beloved horse there. What a great place for him to spend his retirement.
Thoughts of John... We are so glad we were able to visit with you on Thursday You seemed to really enjoy the Krispy Kreme donut holes that we brought to you. It was an honor to feed them to you and provide you with some enjoyment in your final days. I have to say I wasn't prepared for what I saw and I was worried about you. But life comes and goes for all of us John, we will miss you and look forward to seeing you and all our other friends in the Big Racetrack in the Sky.
What an icon you are, John Henry, rest in peace ol fellow ! You'll be terribly missed, but what an awesome record you leave us. You are a standard for all that follow you to live up to!
May your memory bring comfort to your daily care givers and your close circle of friends....
We won't ever forget you, John Henry. You're a Legend. Love forever.
Dear Dear John I have come up with an address for you for all that loved you so they can write to you. You are surly one of a kind and will be missed by many. Thank-you for giving all of us so many years of love and beauty. After all YOU did it YOUR way :-)
Kelso & Forego Suites
30 Stakes Road
McAnally, Rubin, McCarron Building
To my friend John Henry;I didn't tell you this when I came out to the Kentucky Horse Park in 1993 and we met at that time.I was formally introduced to you by the owner Sam Rubin in the summer of 1978 when I was working in Las Vegas, for the Churchill Downs Race and Sports Book.He told me he owned a good race horse by the name of 'John Henry'. I remembered your past performance chart from the Daily Racing Form and you had a tendency to flatten out on the softer east coast turf courses. I figured you would do a lot better on the harder grass courses in Southern California; so that is what I told Rubin.A few months later they shipped you out to California. Man, did you dig that grass course at Santa Anita or what. You ran that 1&1/8 in about 1:46 flat in my figures but the form got you in 1:47 4/5 for 'The Volante H.' running third with Chuck Baltazar in the irons;about a half length out of it for all the money.That was another beginning for us,John.You found yourself.I saw you again after that when you came back east to run in Jersey or New York.I was with you for every race thereafter.I am so proud of you for everything you accomplished in the world and so glad for you for all the love you received from so many people.I will have that moment for all eternity when we met in '93 and our eyes gazed into each other's soul; me gently stroking your neck.The connection was made.I tell all the world that in one of my previous lives I raced chariots a few thousand years ago in the great coliseum in Rome and that the great "John Henry" was the anchor on my team.John..you have gone on to another dimension; but we will meet again and our spirits will continue to soar. I love you my friend. Thank you...
you tried to bite me when i was taking your picture... i was so pleased!!! it would have been an honor to have a "scar" from someone as great as you were. you will live forever in your fans hearts and always be missed and remembered for all that you did. rest in peace dear John Henry.
Rest in peace sweet champion. I know you are having a wonderful time with barbaro and all of your other equine friends. I am going to go and watch the dvd that I have of you from your races at santa anita. I purchased the dvd a few years ago from the santa anita race track web site. It has his races at santa anita and footage from john's 30th birthday party.
John I first got you meet you at the KHP 4/04. The rolex event was the previous weekend. You were very quiet. The park staff said that you had a rough weekend. For some reason, you could not stand the voice of the announcer att he rolex event and kept bucking and was giving everyone a hard time, so you were let out to your paddock earlier and that seemed to settle you down.
My second visit was 10/05. I have to apologize for calling you an old man. When I went to your stall, you were drinking from your bucket. When I called you old man, you stopped drinking, you started biting on the gate and I saw your scary but beautiful teeth.
I will always remember being able to see during the chanpions show. I am sure that Cigar Da Hoss and all of the horses in the hall of champions are already missing you.
You will always be remembered and loved.
Adrienne and Allen, Nanuet NY
My deepest sympathy and thanks to those who cared for you. I loved you so much.
Your memory to mortals will be peppered with temper and a determation second to none.
Stand still new colts for upon the new morning mist moves the spirit of an immortal warrior..
who has won his greatest race beyond the hand of man.
... The great John Henry...
I hadn't heard about you in years until a few weeks ago, they said you were 32. I told my kids about you. I'm sorry I never got a chance to get down to the Bluegrass country to see you. Enjoy your new found health. Please say "hello" to my favorite, Affirmed, the greatest I ever saw, Seattle Slew, and the bravest, Barbaro. You belong with them all.You are a great champion. When you ran the ground shook. The sky opened and mere mortals parted. Parted the way to victory. Where you will meet me in the winner's circle. Where I will lay a blanket of flowers on your back.
John Henry, I always looked forward to your updates and am deeply saddened by your passing. You're one of a kind and will be missed by so many of us.Good night sweet prince, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
You have now joined the "heavenly herd" old fellow. Run free and run fast. I will miss you.
I first met John back in his racing days, when he made his first appearance in the Belmont Park barn area, when he shipped in for one of his many races there. At first look, he didn't strike me as a physically imposing horse, but he had a fire in his eye that he possessed every time I would see him again, even well into his retirement, and into his even later birthday celebrations. I had the honor of painting John on many occasions. In fact, the first painting I sold during my first stay in Saratoga was a painting of John Henry beating The Bart in the Arlington Million.
A few years ago, I was again honored when John allowed me to measure him for a sculpture I am currently working on. We were all surprised at how well he stood, while I worked all over him with a calipers and tape measure. Thank you John, for allowing me the privilege of your company, especially in such an intimate and personal way. I was most appreciative that I never received a nip or outright bite by a fellow who was known for just such actions. He was a perfect "Gentleman Gelding" on that day! His good behavior really did surprise everyone, and I shall never forget it!
I attended his big "John Henry Day" at the Horse Park, and met with many of John's connections who showed up for his big day, including Mr. Ron McAnally who actually remembered me from back in the day from his many Belmont visits with John. I also attended several of his birthday celebrations, where so many people from all over the country came to celebrate the life of our "Steel Drivin' Hero!" We shared memories of races we attended, had birthday cake, soft drinks, and made new memories. I recall, I burned a lot of film on those occasions!
I wanted to see him again when the weather cooled down some, so it wouldn't be such a burden on John, having visitors in such oppressive heat. Now that the weather has cooled ... it's too late. He's gone ... we lost our hero. As I looked through the photos I took of John over the years, I smiled at the remembrances of all those good times past, and mourned the fact that John is no longer among us. For me, he will always live in my heart -- the tough as nails little guy, who allowed me some very special personal time with him once. I will always remember that day, and I will always remember John, and I will always love him. Rest easy old friend ... you are loved.
You were always loved and will never be forgotten.
John Henry, you were one of a kind, there will never be another like you. You will always be remebered as the greatest and will be missed so much
John Henry, I will always remember you. You were the most exciting race horse. Love to you and all of those who cared for you at the Kentucky Horse Park.
We will all miss you John Henry. This is the end of the great horse era in thoroughbred racing. Go cross the rainbow bridge and play in heaven with your buddies and my Chance.
I came to see you on 22 September 2007. I was selfish, I just wanted to see greatness again. I will always remember the times I came to the Kentucy Horse Park to see you. Now, you have passed over to a life free of pain. You have not died, for you live on in the hearts you left behind.
I am one of the few people on earth who actually witnessed John Henry's first race on grass. It was in NY and he romped by 15 or so lengths at 30-1 plus odds. I had no idea what he was to become...RIP JH , you deserve it.
Fare thee well old friend....
How lucky we all are in this short lifetime to see such a magnificient champion. John Henry Thank You.
NOW YOU WILL GET YOUR CHANCE TO RACE ALL OF THE GREATS THAT HAVE GONE BEFORE YOU ON HEAVEN'S RACETRACK...THEY HAVE BEEN WAITING A LONG TIME TO TAKE YOU ON. I KNOW YOU WILL NOT LET THEM DOWN, AND CANT WAIT FOR THE CHALLENGE!
It was truely a honor to stand in the presents of greatness the times I visited the park. Although your tremendous heart has givin way your Spirit never will Rest in Peace John Henry and God Bless.
You will always have a place in my heart John Henry. Run free now. You are a true champion. Love you John Henry.
John Henry - What a legacy you have given those who love & care for horses unconditionally- I'm sure our 36 year old mare, Tippecanoe Morning Star, who was laid to rest Sept., 2007- was ready to meet you in those green pastures and challenge you to yet another gallop.. Thank you for your heritage -Bodkin Family, Lafayette, IN
I am very upset to hear that you have gone, I know it is for the best since the crazy heat in Kentucky brought you down, obviously you let everyone know within your eyes that is was time. You will be missed and now you can run with Barbaro and Secretariat in the fields above.
You will be missed.
The first time we saw John Henry was at the Arlington Million when he passed Royal Heroine for his second Million win.
His life was a true "rags to riches" story.
The statue at Arlington Park of John Henry and the Bart is a great tribute to him and his will to win.
Whenever we were in Kentucky, we always made a trip the the Kentucky Horse Park to see John and Cigar who also ran at Arlington Park.
John Henry and Barbaro are probably in a great field of Kentucky Blue Grass with a fresh cold water stream and shade trees looking down on all of us.
What a special animal and racehorse you were......one of a kind. Have fun in heaven, honey. Have someone up there make you some chocolate donuts, okay?
Rest in peace, John. I love you.
John Henry will live forever as his legend grows and grows!!!
Farewell John Henry. Your spirit will always be with us.
Your body was tired and aged, but your heart and spirit never were. Your life is continuing but with a body young and vibrant once again.
Rest in Peace, Great Champ!!! You will always be loved and missed greatly.
Thank You for allowing me to touch you as you have touched my soul. God bless you, John Henry, as you glorified His Name by being you!
i was at the meadowlands for your last race and i'll never forget your flying finish from way off the pace. i remember people running along the apron of the track cheering and yelling my man john henry as he crossed the finish line. he was every mans horse and a true icon and folk hero to all his fans. the little guy who achieved greatness through sheer strength of will. you wil never be forgotten
What a sad day - we have lost a true champion. I wish I'd had the opportunity to witness John Henry in person to see first hand his courage and heart. My condolences to the staff, his groom and all those who were with him over the years and at the end as well as all his fans.
I am so glad those who cared for you didn't allow you to suffer. You are a magnificent spirit and I am grateful to have seen you race and looked into your eyes.
Saw you racing, loved seeing you at the Horse Park. Have some great pictures and Thanks for being you.
John Henry you will be greatly missed by us all. Not only did I get to personally meet and see you several times, but my children also got to meet you and were also touched by your spirit and greatness. As great as your spirit is, you will always live on. Thank you John Henry.
Thank you, John Henry for your thrilling races. RIP. My Sympathies for all the staff at KHP during this time of loss.
For John's friends and family, my heart cries for you. A truly amazing horse and a spirit that will never die. He is racing Barbaro in heaven. What a sight that must be! I followed his career almost from the beginning and never missed a race he ran if it was televised. I always wanted to go to see him but never was able to. And the ESPN races televised over last weekend did a story on him and I was so happy to see it. Little did I know it would be the last time. Please stay strong and know that many people share your grief. He is in a better place now and running free... Much love, Linda
OH, John, how do you say goodbye to someone who has filled our hearts with such magnificance. You were so splendid in your accomplishments, and you were so compelling in your very presence.
You lived your life as only you knew how...as a champion. We were so fortunate to have been graced with your gifts...
John Henry...here is to a life well lived. It is so hard to see it end, but a rest so earnestly deserved!
Rest in Peace John. I will miss seeing you at the Horse Park. And will always treasure meeting you there in person, especially for the last time on July 13, 2007.
John Henry you were the greatest race horse I have ever had the privilege to see. Your heart and ability speek forthemselves. I am glad you spend those years here at the horse park and you brought so much love and understanding from so many around the world . god bless you and may you run in heaven without pain forever. You are truely the greatest.
You were a champion on the track and will always be a champion in our hearts.
We have lost the last Great one from the 1970's. John was 100% all heart. It's sad to here of his passing. I use to love the storys Tammy Siters would tell us about John. I love the one story were John went in for Colic surgey and, the vet tech smacked John on the nose before the operation to distarct him and Tammy telling her to watch out that John dosnt forget and 2 days later John bit her in the chest.
We aont see another John in our liftime.
RIP big guy!
Dear John Henry,
While I was definitely saddened by the news of your passing, I am grateful that your wonderful handlers made sure you didn't suffer. And let's face it...32 years is a long and impressive life span for a thoroughbred. Your accomplishments on the racetrack are simply staggering. 39 wins in 83 trips postward, including an amazing 16 Grade I wins!! And to think that it all started here in New Orleans at the now-extinct Jefferson Downs. You rose from humble beginnings to the biggest stages in horse racing. You conquered all distances and surfaces. You defied Father Time and competed at the highest level, even in the waning years of your racing career. Had it not been for an injury, you likely would have kept winning for several more years. You were the ultimate competitor John...a real warrior. I consider your story to be an inspiration...a testament to what anyone with a BIG heart can accomplish. Rest in Peace you Great Champion!
May all who loved John Henry find comfort in their memories of him. He'll always be in our hearts.
THEY CALLED UPON YOU AS THEY WANT YOU TO REST NOW GOOD NIGHT
John, you've touched more lives than you'll even know.
Everyone who saw you fell in love with the "grouchy little gelding at the Horse Park", myself included. From the first day I saw you until the end, your attitude reminded me of my own horse's at home, and that made you even more special to me.
The Hall of Champions just won't be the same without you.
You're free now. You're free to run and never stop.
Rest In Peace, John.
I am going to miss you sweet boy. I didn't get a chance to meet you, but my heart knew your heart. You are a true champion. Love always.
The first time I saw you race was at Hollywood Park, you won for fun.
I came to visit you last spring, I am so glad we made the trip. You have such a huge place in my heart that I cannot talk about you without crying. What emotions you bring out in all of us who love you...and we are many.
I will miss you.
From the dedication page of my new novel "Chasing Roses":
Dedicated to three of my most special friends, John Henry, DaHoss and Cigar and the wonderful Kentucky Horse Park. Make plans to visit them soon. And dedicated to the memory of Barbaro, Pine Island, Three Degrees, SweetPie and all the other wonderful horses who have galloped though our lives and now peacefully graze in heavens green pastures."
I so hoped you'd make it to see the book. I wanted you to know how much you inspire me.
Run free with those other wonderful horses....
You will always gallop through my heart.
Judy Turner Fraizer
JH and all the superb staff and connections that made this truly spectular life possible:
Thank you for your heart, spirit and the true soul of what makes a thoroughbred one of the most noblest creatures on the planet Earth.
You showed us athletic and character performance beyond human reasoning.
Thank God your connections saw the nobility of your efforts, the industry allowed you a dignified exit and the fans remember your contribution.
Your longevity is a testament to dignified retirement and honor. Thank you, Sir for the memories. I know you're crossing the Rainbow Bridge...say hello to Gato, Sunday, Barbaro, Exterminator and all the greats. Also to all the ones who might have been.
There has to be horses in heaven, because they made heaven on earth.
God Bless the Horse!
The last of the great racehorses is now gone. Getting to spend your remaining years running in a paddock and eating carrots and peppermints and being loved...truly a gift for a hard working horse. Rest in Peace Big Guy
They say true Champions never die!
JH your passion to live, your will to survive, and that ornery side of you will always live on in your fans hearts forever. I bid ado old boy!
You are with all of the Greats now, John Henry. We were blessed to have you for 32 1/2 years.
John what can I say? I was there for your first weekend at the Horse Park. And, I've kept track on you all these years. I'm thankful I got the chance to visit you back in July of 2006 and I was able to watch you in your paddock and talk to you. You will be missed more than words will ever tell. You were the greatest! My sympathies go out to all those that loved and cared for you all these years. RIP John!
My dear boy... I saw you for the last time one month ago in September. You were munching peppermints in your stall, and looking like the king you will always be. We're the same age! I saw you race in 1984 at the Million when I was a kid. I will remember you always and fondly...
BE HEALTHY AND RUN LIKE THE WIND
As always, he got every last drop out of whatever God gave him to work with.
A sports fan can consider him or herself very blessed to be able to point to two or three athletes during his or her life that were truly transcendent.
Those of us lucky enough (and old enough) to remember it all can put John in that rare category and say "I was lucky to be alive when John Henry was running."
We'll never, ever, see a 9 year old Horse of the Year again.
Good trip old buddy.....
We always loved seeing you at the horse park every summer. We will miss you, but we'll be back to see your special resting place. We lost our own special old gelding Skip this year and now you run with him like you both used to. You're both champs!
John Henry, you showed us all that champions can sometimes arise from the most unlikely individuals. This is an important lesson everyone should learn. You will be missed, but never forgotten.
We had the privilege to see you last month and we are deeply saddened by your passing. Enjoy yourself with all the other horses in horse heaven. Love from the Williams in Tennessee
John, what can I say but thanks for the memories. You proved that royal bloodlines and a big price tag don't necessarily mean you'll end up with a great horse. Rainbow Bridge awaits you, as do all your fellow racehorses. Be free to gallop among them, pain-free. We'll see you again one day.
Heartfelt condolences to all who were close to this great champion. He will always be remembered and I was fortunate enough to see him on TV when he raced and in person at the park. John Henry has left a legacy of great memories and inspiration. His great heart may have stopped but he will never die in the hearts of the people he has touched.
We had a storm here last night with lots of thunder. I took this as a sign that John Henry was making his presence be known in Heaven's Hall of Champions. As sad I was about his passing, thinking this made me smile a little. From now on, whenever I hear thunder, I will think of him racing in heaven with Kelso, Secretariat and many other greats.
I saw John in 2005 and he was the highlight of my trip to Kentucky.
He will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace.
You are now with all the other GREATS, John Henry. You will be missed!
My deepest sympathy goes to all of your caretakers and others who loved you so much, too.
My fondest memory of the incomparable John Henry is seeing him at the '84 Million where he strode free down the Arlington lawn to beat Royal Heroine. I couldn't see him well but heard the race call announcing his charge down the lane and then saw his distinctive, stylish way of running with shadowroll bobbing up and down and legs moving like a forest fire. He was always an inspiration. And he lived large, ran grandly, and did it his way, the right way, with fierce determination, pride and intelligence.
Thank you to his caretakers all these years for allowing him to do so.
John Henry, I met you in May when I was in KY for the Derby. I'm so glad I got to see you. You are the greatest and will always be in my heart. God's speed.
My heartfelt condolences to the staff of the KY Horsepark, especially Cathy Roby. Thank you for your loving care of John Henry. May you find comfort in your memories.
I am deeply saddened to hear of John's passing. He was a noble champion with a warrior's spirit. With age came wisdom, and he knew that his time was fleeting. In his final months, he touched millions of people who just held out some hope for the big guy to hang in there, yet again like he had before. I met John in 1993 at the KHP and couldn't believe the fire still burning behind those eyes. He stared at me as if to say....buzz off I'm eating. God Speed big horse I love you!
I was priviledged in the 80's to marvel at John Henry beating them all at Santa Anita & Hwd Pk. The Oak Tree Invitationals were thrilling. You could hardly get near the finish line to peek at effortless John H. as he brought huge crowds (and low odds!) every time. It was also an honor to watch him being walked at the Ky Horse Park in the 90's as well. John Henry will always remain as my most favorite horse racing memory.
"Baby, you're the greatest"
IN MEMORIUM FOR JOHN
Your race is run, you've said goodbye,
Tears will trickle from many an eye,
It's hard to take, to let you pass,
It seemed as though you'd always last.
Yours was a great and mighty heart,
Those are toughest with which to part,
But time never waits for anyone,
Not even racing's eldest son.
We knew about your grumpy ways,
Those you carried all your days,
But your heart was good and true,
The grouchy side was only "you."
We can't forget those firey eyes,
Daring opponents to steal the prize,
We'll aways remember your glory wins,
But most of all, what was within.
Beneath that crusty, raw outside,
Beat a heart of courage and pride,
Cantankerous champion to the end,
The likes of whom, not seen again.
We knew your health was failing fast,
And doubted long that you would last,
And those who sent you to your rest,
Wanted you to have the best.
What greater gift, sent from above,
Surrounded by a bond of love,
That when you take your final breath,
You're with the ones who loved you best.
Your bravery is your legacy,
That, with your tenacity,
We send with you our love so true,
For being John - just being you.
In this we know that we are right,
'Tis Equine Heaven you're in tonight,
We will not dwell upon your fate,
It's your great life, we'll celebrate.
We love you John Henry -- forever.
Sharon L. Barnes
October 9, 2007
RIP John Henry, a true champion in every sense of the word.
John Henry = True Grit.Thanks for the numerous memories!When the local chicago news channel showed the clip &( voice of the great Phil Georgeff) announcing the 1st Budweiser Million, a tear came to my eye.
Peace with you and enjoy all the green pasture you desire now. You brought great pride to the industry and the racing careers of olders horses.
John Henry, you are my Hero
You will and will always be
You give hope to the ordinary
For an ordinary man just like me
John Henry, you are my Hero
Magnificent courage on display
Reaching inside and giving it all
As the finish line came into play
John Henry, you are my Hero
Awesome thunder on the track
You filled the days of my youth
With warm memories as I look back
John Henry, you are my Hero
You lift my sprit and make me see
That I can accomplish anything
And be the person I want to be
I once missed an opportunity to pet John when he was out for one of his recent walks. After all his years of aloofness, he was actually interested in how I was ignoring him while speaking with his handler. He nudged closer and closer to me, looking at me only out of the corner of his eye.
Knowing his reputation for a little nip here and there when someone got too close, I was determined that I wasn't going to fall for the bait and actually reach out to pet him. He finally gave up on me and, in disgust, walked on off in search of his next potential admirer.
Some people may have incorrectly considered him cantankerous, grumpy or even mean. Instead he was just an amazing animal who believed that he was something special and, like all of us, just wanted to be loved and admired. I should have loved and admired him when I had the chance that day.
I was lucky enough to get one last chance to give him the attention he deserved, but for anyone reading this entry, love and admire those close to you, regardless of how many legs they may have, because you may never again get the chance to show them the appreciation they are inherently entitled to receive.
Thank you, John Henry, for a lesson well learned! Rest in peace.
Dear John Henry.. I'll always remember the blessing of visiting you this past weekend one last time. Friday was a rainy day but I was determined to go. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of being a part of your amazing career and cherishing moments with you at the KHP Hall of Champions is a thrilling experience.. Enjoy your beautiful pastures sweet boy with your new friend Barbaro. We will always love you.
We paid a visit last year, they said you probably wouldn't respond or move too much, we called your name, John..John.., you turned and walked over to my wife and I and licked her hand, we cried then, and we are crying today, we will miss you forever our friend.
God bless you John John. You were the greatest and you knew it. Thanks to Tammy and Cathy and others who took such good care of you over the years. John, I will never forget you or the great memories you left me with. Gods speed Old Man.
What a great horse you were, John Henry. We never meet you but we have read so much about you! You are truly a hero, and you will not be forgotten! I am so glad you are in that great pasture now where you will always feel young. We love you, John Henry!!
I watched John Henry race at Santa Anita. I didn't put my money on him the first time, but I did the next time and each time after. It was great fun watching him. Once I wanted to watch him come off the track after a win, and I was surprised at his size. Running on the trach he looked like he was 50 feet tall. I still have a calendar picture on my wall from Santa Anita. He was a great horse.
Sir John Henry...my condolences to your caretakers and connections. I shed tears for your passing but I celebrate the long and happy life you had. You make us all want to be better than we are..to strive to do more. We may never see another champ like you. I will miss you John Henry...to Sir John with love...
Rest in peace, John Henry. Such a great rags to riches story, much like Seabiscuit's. You and he were small in stature but great in heart. The last great horse of the 1970's is gone.
I had the privledge of visting the KHP in May of 2006 when you were there, I can gladly say I got to see you, and see what a wonderful fellow you were. You will be missed by all!
May you rest in the sweet green pastures, and run freely!
Dear John, I met you this summer on my first trip to your home at KHP. I was allowed to peep in your stall and it made me so happy to see you. Wishing you happy days in the great beyond pasture.
I remember watching you race on TV for so long and were always my favorite. I was very happy to be able to visit with you at the park this past August, while I was at the KHP for the AAEA, artist workshop. What a grand old man you were, and go show those other racers at the Rainbow Bridge, just how great you are.
Your career is starting over again. You'll be breaking out of the biggest starting gate of the universe. The Starting gates of heaven. To be with all of Gods champions! Run with them all!God bless you , John Henry for all you have given us!
To the sprit of John Henry: You made my life more interesting and fun! You were one of the smartest horses, ever. THANKS for living your life, in public, to the fullest!
We are saddened to tears about the passing of John Henry. We were so fortunate to see him this past May. May God comfort all who will miss him most.
Alan and Barbara Wood
Truly what "a wonderful life". John Henry--you'll be missed.
You did it your way. Thanks for the memories. Rainbow Ridge has added another champion.
Just heard a rumble of thunder here, know it is you John Henry making yourself at home.You have left alot of loving fans that will have you in their hearts forever.
So glad to have met you in late September. Thank you for your truly inspirational life. Run free and full of life now, O great champion.
to stand in the presence of a champion was the greatest feeling i ever had. i was fortunate to meet you a few days after you turned 30 and i fell in love all over again. you were so cute in your winter coat you outshined all the other ones. you were special, and loved. you were a champion who will always be in our hearts. luv u
John Henry, you had a great life. Thank you for your great beauty, personality and talent. My appaloosa, Romeo was 32 when he left us.
You were great and no one will ever fill your shoes!
I feel like a part of my heart is gone now. John Henry, you were one of a kind. I am 27 years old and kept up with you since age 4. I visited you every 2 weeks just to see that sparkle in your eyes. A champion, now a legend, forever in our hearts. We love you and will always remember you.
I saw the famous John Henry 4 years ago. I am so glad I have wonderful memories of him at his beloved Kentucky Horse Park. I can picture him running with so many of the famous race horses. No pain, eating to his hearts content. You will be missed by all.
Dear John, I hadn't heard that you were doing so poorly. Thanks for the inspiration you have given me through the years. The horse park will not be the same without you. Run fast and free where you are, I'll see you when I get there, Love, Teresa
John I will miss you, you touched my heart and I will always carry a piece of you with me. I can see you running now, running down the track in heaven with all of the great thoroughbreds straight toward the finish line. I know you are now a guardian angel for all those racing today and forever.
God bless you!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Just wanted to add a photo for everyone...
John Henry: From Southern California, we will always remember you for those many wonderful races, from the San Juan to the Oak Tree Invitational. I'll never forget the day at Santa Anita when they honored you upon your retirement close to 22 years ago. You stopped and paused on the track acknowledging the crowd as we cheered. We're still cheering.
It was my great honor to see John at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2003. This plain brown horse still had a fire in his eyes that said "stay back or you'll wish you had."
We admired your toughness, resilience, versatility and independent spirit, John. So forget the resting in peace. Go race through heavenly pastures and be as grumpy as you want! We'll miss you.
I visited John Henry in Lexington several years ago. It was an honor to see him in person. He will always be remembered as one of the greats. We will miss you John Henry.
You are a hero to many. My little girl loved to visit you. She was sad that we will not be able to see you when we go to the horse park but she will always have great memories of you. Missed by many. Thanks for the memories.
It’s the end of an era… John Henry has gone to the other side. I somehow thought that he would “beat the odds” and cheat death but even legends have to leave us behind. Every time I visit Arlington Park Racetrack, I always pay homage to the statue of John Henry beating The Bart entitled.. “Against All Odds”. I look at the determination and grit in his face and I am in awe of his feisty, tenacious spirit. I am so sad I was never able to visit him in Kentucky, I so wanted to. I have read everything I could read about John Henry and he was truly an amazing and unique character. Stories about his antics made me laugh out loud and when I saw video clips of all of his wins, I was so impressed by his spirit, drive and will, to win!! What a talented horse; here he was, modest of pedigree and small in stature with imperfect knees but he was perfect. I will miss him terribly, everyone will.
May you be greeted by Barbaro and others who gone before you when you cross the Rainbow Bridge
'Sir" John Henry ( as I call you!)
I just know that your 'presence' is an added dimension to equine-heaven! Are they standing in awe? Pl.teach the youngsters all you know, Oh Sr.& be gentle on the new Warriors there(like Barbaro)They are smart & they too will learn from you.I so respect you, leaving as you lived..i.e in your own time & way. You KNOW you are a legend but I don't think you really care..that's what I love about you!
Well, John, you are at peace now, with no more pain. You have given me, and the world, the greatest gifts, for 32 years, NEVER TO GIVE UP, NO MATTER WHERE YOU COME FROM, and HOPE! I recently visited you at the Horse Park, in July, and you were on your daily walk, with your handler, you stop a moment, and lifted your head, as if to say, look at me, as you stared into the distance. I took my picture, of you, and you still had that look of eagles, in your eyes. This was a wonderful moment, for me. THANK YOU, JOHN HENRY. Forever run free, and I will miss you.
I never saw you, but I liked you from reading about you.
Rest in peace John Henry I love you
John Henry was a family member of racing fans everywhere and of the entire racing community. My late Father and I visited John Henry during two different decades at the Kentucky Horse Park. I treasure the photo of John Henry winning the Arlington Million and it will always be in a special place in our home. Thanks to everyone who took care of him during the past few years and we will miss him very much.
And then a Hero comes along... John Henry you are a Hero to millions. We will always remember! Race in Peace John Henry -- you've earned your wings. Prayers and condolences for your caregivers and famblee.
JOHN HENRY running wild and free we will never forget you
I was suppose to go to see you at the end of this month! I guess now there will be something missing from my life. Blessed Be to all who took care of this great horse.
Thank you to all who provided John Henry a wonderful retirement.
I just saw you last month and my heart broke. Now you are running around in heaven with all the great champions. I will miss you.
Rest in peace. Love, Carol
Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.
Rest easy, Steel Driving Man! Now you can join the others, forever young, playing, running in the sun and eating your favorite treats. Your cares are gone and as is any pain. But remember---you are loved by all and WILL be missed. Especially, by those whom you inspired that you don't have to be physically perfect, pretty, important or rich to be brave, have spirit and internal strength, heart and fight all odds to live and win! Will remember all the times I saw you. Against all your handlers, you would come directly to me while I sat on my scooter or wheelchair so close I could almost put my arms around you. So curious and intelligent! Never nasty or mean, you always welcomed me like an old, fat filly you've known for years. Your eyes always sparkling for me and speaking to me, "Hello, again, lady. Damn, what kind of horse are you on? You part of that thing? Aw, you know I'm faster. I can beat that thing in a heartbeat. See ya again next time and be kind to that odd little pony!" Sadly missed, loved and forever will be appreciated. Beverly
Goodbye old friend. You will always be a champion.
God Speed John Henry
We will miss you but we will always remember your unique imprint to horse racing. You will forever be one of a kind.
I worked at the Horse Park during the year of 1986, and I remember John Henry well. He was truly special and will be greatly missed by all. Goodbye, John.
To those who knew John and worked with him both on the track and during his 22 years at KHP, my condolences.
To John Henry, thanks for the thrills and the memories both on and off the track.
I visited you at the KHP whenever I returned to Kentucky because you embodied what a racehorse should be. I am glad I was able to be in Kentucky last weekend to see you one last time. You will be sorely missed. RIP John, may you have only blue skies, green pastures and worthy opponents. Don't beat them too badly.
I was lucky enough to get to see an amazing champion this summer. RIP John Henry- one of the best raceshorses that has (and will ever) run.
we will miss you so much you were a true champion i enjoyed seeing you everytime i came to the park rest in peace John Henry and god bless
I saw John H in September 2007 for the 1st time. I wish I had seen him when he was younger. I know he had a strong will to survive. My sincere sympathy to all who loved and cared for him.
You were more than a legend. You were also a teacher, confidant, and friend. Thank you for touching our lives both on and off the racetrack. It has been truly an honor.
John Henry, you are a Great Spirit. Although I never met you or was able to see you race, I feel like I've always known you. My heart is full of love for you. Bless those that shared your life. God Speed!
John, you taught so many lessons without ever using words. You never changed who you were for anybody, always staying true to yourself. To those of us who had the privilege to take care of you, you were both parent and child, teacher and student (though I would say you did more than your share of the reprimanding!) You gave us memories - and scars - that are everlasting and will be cherished. You brought hope and joy to countless fans that will recount your legend for generations to come. You have become truly immortal, and I am forever thankful for the great amount of time you were given here to show us the meaning of honor, dignity, and courage. I would tell you to rest easy, but I know you're busy up there re-asserting who exactly is the King...so go get 'em, John John!
To a Great Horse, Graceful and Beautiful, and always our favorite to visit. You will be Sadly missed. We are so glad you lived such a full and wonderous life. You are a CHAMPION, and always will be! We Love You very much. Farewell to our beloved friend.
John Henry you were a steel-driving horse, that's for sure!
God speed you on to greener pasturers!
Go to your rest John, you have earned it. We will always remember you and your accomplishments on this earth. Thank you to the Kentucky Horse Park and your caretakers at that park. They saw to it that your retirement years were full of love and respect. You were the horse that raced for every man and I loved your personality...make no mistake, you were a diva of the highest stature, but you could back it up with your talent and you could make them eat your dust. You will be greatly missed, Old Man.
John Henry had the most honest eyes I ever saw on a horse and carried himself like the Champion he was .
I will miss him , he has crossed Rainbow Bridge , Run like The Wind Big Guy !
Rest in peace John Henry. You've had a wonderful and also legendary life. You will be missed.
My first trip to KY was specifically to see John. I've gotten to see him twice and he always impressed me. I was hoping to come out one more time to see him, but I know he's in a better place, healthy and happy. John, you will be sorely missed.
Our sorrow cannot match your heart
Rest in Peace Old Friend
John Henry - Your fighting spirit is a inspiration to all, how I wish I could have met you. Rest in peace, Old Man.
I can't believe it. I just got the news. OMG, its the end of an era. Thanks to all the people who have watched over him all these years. God bless you. He will be so missed.
"You who always knew my heart now fly above the clouds in the warmth of the sun. I hope one day we will soar together." - Excerpt from "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa Lee.
you are a great horse that live a long time then in horse.I am so glad I meet you at the kentucky horse park
Sir John Henry, You are a CHAMPION above all others & I am so happy that you lived your life, YOUR WAY. Run free now magnificent horse. You will never ever be forgotten, & you are loved & missed forever...
I love you John Henry! You will be missed. You are a noble representative of a fading generation of great racehorses.
I am so sorry for the loss of the Great John Henry. I am so glad I got to meet him this past September.
My condolences to the people of the KHP.
The two things I will never forget about you, John-John, are how you nosed out The Bart to win the Arlington Million and how you let me hand feed you carrots and keep all my fingers. Thanks. Enjoy the Great Racetrack in the Sky.
Dear Wonderful John Henry,
Thank you for touching my life. I will miss looking into those beautiful eyes that told the story of your soul and expressed the grandeur of your spirit..a spirit which is now free to fly with the wind and run to your hearts content. I miss you terribly and I love you so.
Goodbye, John-- we'll never see a horse like you again.
John Henry, what a life you have lived and shared with all of us horse lovers. You will be missed. To those who cared for him I pray that this time of loss will soon pass and only the great memories will be with you. How lucky you are to have spent time with one of the greatest ever.
John Henry, I will always remember the thrill of watching you race! You are now racing among the stars, unencumbered by your earthly body. Godspeed, swift steed.
I drove from Michigan and spent some time with John on Friday and Saturday. I feel very blessed that I got to touch his precious face and speak softly to him. I will never forget the sound of his nicker when he wanted his donut. He answered his Final Call as depicted in Fred Stones painting. Maybe he is running with the great secretariat, feeling like a million bucks. Renee Riepe
It's breaking our hearts John Henry. Our kids always enjoyed watching you everytime we brought them to the horse park. We still can't believe that you are gone, but you will ALWAYS ALWAYS BE IN OUR THOUGHTS AND HEARTS. WE WILL SURELY MISS YOU MY FRIEND. Now run free without pain or discomfort. We know Cigar will miss you too. Your spirit will always be at the horse park. RUN FREE MY FRIEND. We thank you for giving us the privledge of knowing you and seeing you. All our love, Kirk and Judy Fritz, Perrysburg, Ohio
As we all pass through, we are subjected to the trials and tribulations of life. The memories are precious, keep them sacred, Thank's to you John Henry...For everything. The early years and the golden years. Let us not forget the very dedicated people at the KY Horse Park, for all the responsible love and concern. As well as his owners and all involved with him, Now he can rest, as the CREATOR will have him now and forever, Amen.
John Henry of Golden Chance Farm, you were a great champion and true inspiration; you taught us much. Thanks for the memories!
How I wish I could've met you, John Henry.
My sincere sympathies and gratitude to everyone at KHP who took such good care of him, with the great kindness, compassion, and patience the seniors need from us.
Rest in Peace John Henry. You will be missed. You are what racing is all about. My sincere condolences and gratitude to the family of John. You took such wonderful care of him and he lived a long and happy life because of you.
Somehow I thought you would outlive us all, John. In April, I bid you farewell, knowing realistically it could be for the last time, but I didn't want to believe it. You will be so missed...one of the last glimmers of racing's golden age. I admire your grit, your determination and your will to prevail no matter what the circumstances - both on the track and in life. You will live on in the hearts of many, always our steel-drivin' man.
I'm so glad I got to meet you in July, John Henry. What an honor it was!
I am so glad I got to see JH last spring when I visited Lexington and the KHP.
He was 32/104 years young.
When I die I hope God lets me have the mount on "The Steel Driving Man."
I remember the last time I saw you. As usual, you were on the grumpy side and you didn't want to come say hello. I didn't really care - I came to say hello to greatness and I got to do that. I'll always treasure that memory.
Thanks for all of the wonderful memories, and rest well. I'll never forget you.
John - you showed them all - from humble beginnings, you laughed in their faces. Nowadays people spend millions to try to find a horse that could even begin to have one iota of your talent. With you passes an era of racing I sadly feel will never return. I see hope in the foals in my pasture but don't even dare to imagine they could come close to your heels.
To the staff of KHP and the Hall of Champions my sympathies - I know it will be difficult in deed to walk past his now empty stall. But know he is free and running the barn over the Rainbow Bridge.
Thank you for the memories that my children and I will hold dear from the many visits to your stall. You always had the look in your eye of a champion even when just a few weeks ago you were so obviously in pain. Bless you John Henry - Enjoy the freedom you have now. We will all miss you so much.
RIP John. I will never forget talking to you at the Horse Park.
Although i never got the pleasure of meeting you John Henry,I wanted to let you know,You were very special to me too.I will never forget you,After all! Who could forget "John Henry".Rest In Peace Buddy.
You were our equine gift from God, John Henry, and you will be truly missed. Thank you for all the wonderful and thrilling racing memories.
Rest in peace you will never be forgotten............
I took my 10 year old daughter to the Ky. Horse Park in 1994. I tried to explain to her who J.H. was, she didn't quite get it then. Now at 23 she understands. Got to spend a great day with some of racings best.
You are a true inspiration dear friend, may you forever run with the Angels....
To the great John Henry. I met him at the KHP in May 2005. It was my pleasure and I'm so glad to have made his acquaintance. I just read his biography a couple of months ago, and saw his great bronze statue at Arlington Park in August. What a guy. He will be missed. God Bless you John Henry. RIP. Thanks to all who cared for him all these years, and who also cared enough to put him to rest because he was ready.
My Dear Old friend, thank you for all you gave to the world, you will be very much missed.
Rest in Peace Sweet Boy!
Dear John Henry -- thanks for giving me the honor of meeting you just 3 weeks ago. I didn't say goodbye to you because I knew what a fighter you were. I'm so sorry that you are gone but know your spirit is running free now -- my deepest condolences to your family at the KHP.
John Henry has been a important part of my life for many years. I am a lifetime resident of Lexington and feel most privileged to have been part of John Henry's long and happy life. He will be dearly missed by me...I have so many wonderful memories of being taken to the park to visit him.
We visited the KHP with the USS Ranger CV-4 Reunion and met John Henry on September 21. We are saddened by his passing and will always hold him in our hearts.
John Henry, I last got to see you in June when we came for a visit. I feel like I have known you my whole life because from the time I was little my parents always talked about you. Even though we only got to come and visit a few times, you are a part of my history. My parents always say remember that John Henry, you are almost as old as him, we were only 15 months apart in age. My parents thought that was so neat that I got to grow up knowing a horse that was so special.
It's hard to believe that the stubborn old man finally gave way. Although his body may have failed him, he never failed any of us. John did what was expected of him and so much more, and that's something that will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, John. If ever a being deserved it, it was you.
God bless you in your new home - Heaven's Hall of Champions. It was a thrill to watch you race and meet you at the KHP. You really are special.
Thank you very much to all those who loved and took such good care of John Henry. Thank you for sharing him with us.
John Henry it was an honor to meet you last summer.
God Speed John Henry
What a champion. It is an honor to have learned about John Henry. God Bless him.
God Rest your Soul John Henry, Old friend of many big horses just like you. Say hi to Tinker & Merlin & give them a hug for me,when your up there in horse heaven.
HOw grateful I am to have met you in person in KY a few years back. What a magnificant animal to behold. May you be at peace. Tammy/Farmore Farms Welsh Ponies
We miss you so much. Rest in peace with Barbaro, Pine Island, Fog & others. We love you. Enjoy your peaceful racing in the sky with the best horses ever! Hugs from kitties Ladee Elizabeth & Remington Barbaro Gobèe--we love you and miss you, hugs forever!
To the Great M.r John Henry, for almost 30 years I've always known you were in this world, so today is sad for me but not for you run with the wind and dance among the flowers. Thanks for All that you were! Cindy
Proud Champion "rest in peace"
You were one of the greatest. Good bye John and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
John Henry,we are all better off for you having pasted our way. Thanks for all the memories John Henry.
I was just thinking of you the other day John Henry and remember visiting you there at the horse park a few years ago! What an accomplished life you have had, I was tickeled when i heard of your afternoon walks most recently and watching your documetary "Hoofing it with John Henry- Thanks John Henry- We'll miss you !
You were willful, strong, determined - you did not suffer fools easily. You are a great Champion. Even in death, your spirit still draws us with its power - and you are still teaching us. Thank you John Henry, for being all that you can be.
you lived a long and happy life
and thanks to those that cared for john and knew when it was time
sympathy for your people, and a
THANK YOU to them also --this is a
life a horse deserves !!!
say hi to barbaro and all the ones
that have gone before
We saw you once in your retirement. Such an honor and a wonderful memory.
It was an honor seeing you and petting your nose several years ago at the Ky Horse Park. I will never forget that experience. One day I'll see you and others on the other side. Love you.
Did not know you well, but my Dad was a horse owner and admired great horses following their careers. Had a chance to visit you and your fellow horses two years ago and was awed. You will be missed.
Farewell old man, you deserve your rest in the green pastures of heaven, free of pain and the infirmities of old age. You can run with your friends, long gone but not forgotten. You've answered your last call to the post but you will live forever in our hearts. You will always be missed, a loss we won't be able to replace. Enjoy, and we will enjoy our memories of you.
You were a fine "old fellow". You will be missed at the Park.
You are an absolutely AMAZING animal John Henry the world will miss you! No words can describe the absolute deep sorrow that we feel from your passing.
You were absolutely wonderful! You will be greatly missed and forver in our hearts. Now you can run like you used to. I love you John!!
Rest in peace, John Henry, and know that you have brought so much enjoyment into the lives of so many.
It was a great pleasure meeting you John, and I am sorry I did not get down there one last time. My thoughts are with everyone that loved you. Perhaps we shall meet again, big guy.
Quite simply: The GREATEST racehorse EVER.
I miss you!
I love you!
John - Wish I had gotten a chance to know you personally. And even as we remember you with fondness, may we also renew our determination to support and cherish all your kith and kin throughout their lives, on the track or off. Oh, when you cross the Rainbow Bridge, would you please say hello to Secretariat for me? Love ya!
Thank you John, for all the great memories. It was a wonderful thing to have gotten to meet you twice. You will not be forgotten.
Rest in peace Old Man, or rather Run in Peace.
Good bye John Henry. Thank God for your long and exciting life. You were well-loved and will always be. Condolences to all your loving and dedicated caretakers who will miss you.
My heart is broken, JOHN HENRY.
You represented the very essense of America . . . born of our soil and made as you chose to be. Rough and honorable, an American gentleman. You did yourself, and us, proud.
Thank you, and we will miss you.
May you be as fiesty in Heaven as you were on earth. Thanks for the memories.
I'm so glad I got to see two weeks ago. What an honor! You've been my hero for so many years...I hope you have clear sailing to the finish line in Equine Heaven. Be well and young again, dear Warrior.
We got to see John on Sunday afternoon.
He will be missed.
Run free in the greenest of pastures, run free of pain, and meet the other greats that have gone before you. You are a testimony that heart wins over all.
You will be missed.
Beloved by thousands, never forgotten. Run with my sweet boy Tempo now! ~ npk
It was an honor to meet John Henry in person, and I am so glad I went to see him one last time just a few weeks ago. My heart goes out to John's wonderful caretakers who showed him so much love and kindness. We will all miss him.
I cannot be concise in all that I feel about this wonderful animal. His best brings out the best in so many of us - no greater gift could we share.
To you, John Henry, the racing world owes an enormous debt of gratitude. You are an ambassador of the Thoroughbred industry and a monument to perserverance. Your impact on others is a testament to your extraordinary character. You will be sorely missed. Rest now, John. To those who knew and loved him, thank you for sharing his life with us.
I am so sad to hear of the passing of the great John Henry. In my eyes you were a great horse and always Beautiful no matter how cranky you were.
You will be missed greatly!
I am so honored to have seen John Henry at the Kentucky Horse Park several times. Once I was there they were cutting his hair and I was able to get some of his hair for a keepsake. He was a great champion and will be greatly missed. All of you at the Kentucky Horse Park do have my sympathy. Love you John Henry.
The Great John Henry is gone, but will never be forgotten.
I will always remember your farewell in front of the grandstand, John Henry, at Santa Anita in 1984. You didn't walk past the crowd, you highstepped as your fans went wild. You will always be the champion, Big Guy. One in a million. Run wild and free. You are already missed but will always be my heart.
Heartfelt sympathy to all who took such good care of him and loved him enough to let him go.
May you always have bluegrass, sweet treats, and your way to the finish line. Watch out heavens, John Henry is coming down that stretch.
RIP John, we'll miss you! :(
You are such a treasure - how blessed we were to have you here in Lexington for so long! Now, on to greener pastures! Rest in peace, big guy. You are much loved.
John, I'm glad I got to meet you a few years ago...wish I would have made it back to see you. RIP boy, run free, boy. Hope they're ready for you!
Run free John Henry. I bet you stopped to take one last look at the tote board and see what you paid before crossing that rainbow. Give Big Red and Slew a little nip to let them know you have arrived!
Rest in peace, big fella. It was truly a joy to spend a few minutes with you on a nice afternoon.
Good Bye old friend! Thank you for the memorie. Sleep well, run free!
Thanks for letting us see you and be with you one more day on Sunday. Love, Your Fans Forever!
Steve and Mommeee
My heart is broken to hear that you are no longer here. John Henry, you gave us so much - dignity, spirit, feistiness. I pray that all horses are treated with the love and respect you were given. Even though I know you are free, I miss you.Healing, Love, Peace.
You will live on forever in my heart. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You were one of the greatest! Thank you to all who have cared for John all these years.
Each year that I attended Rolex, I made it a point to go by the Hall of Champions and pay homage to John Henry. He is truly a legend. I was honored to stand in your presence. May you always run free in lush pastures. You will be missed. RIP -John Henry
R.I.P. John Henry: Your career, life and temperament were so inspiring to all of your fans.
My condolences to those close to you who loved you dearly.
I've had John Henry in my life since 1980; watched him on the track in NY, NJ and CA and at KHP since he arrived there in 1985 to join Forego and Willie. I still watch his races
and I still wonder how he made it to the front sometimes. His incredible will to win and high intelligence enabled him to pull it off when it looked like he was beaten. Did the same thing in life that he did in his races and that is why he was still here until yesterday. The good news is I have hours of tape and I can watch him run or watch him graze whenever I want. I'm hoping he has the opportunity to do both whenever he wants. I thank the champ for all the great memories and the blueprint for living he left us all as his legacy. .
I am going to miss you John. The horse park won't be the same without you there. You will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace, Great One. Your legacy will live on in all those that loved you. Run free, John Henry..... you will be missed.
RIP, John Henry. You lived the good life and on your own terms. Now you can run again. My condolences to those who took such excellent care of him at KHP. This is the hardest on them. I know it will be very hard to walk past his stall and my heart goes out to you in the days to come.
All of us regret your passing John, except for that goat you kick through a wall at your stable at The Horse Park on perhaps, one of your better days. Even so, you were a champ and we loved you as we love all of God's creatures,great and small. Goodnight John Henry.
Ray and Karay Martin
John Henry, thanks for the great memories. Run free with the heavenly herd. Thanks to Kentucky Horse Park for providing a loving home to a great champion.
Hard to see you go, steel-drivin' horse. You leave indelible memories in us, and the vision of greatness. So rare. Give my best to Seabiscuit, one of the few in your league.
God Speed John Henry
John, you were simply the best. Run free and Rest in Peace. We love you.
I never saw him at the park and I never got to see him run, but I still cried last night when I read he was gone. I think everyone in racing young or old knows of the legend that was John Henry, and we will all miss him very much.
Thank you to all the people who cared for this great horse and ensured that, unlike so many other fine horses, he was cared for as he deserved to be.
He was a true champion.
Thank you John Henry for the inspiration of your humble beginning and your rising to greateness as the champion of champions. I am saddened at your death but will always cherish your accomplishments.
So many great horses are sharing the throne with you. Please say Hi to all my four legged friends. You will be greatly missed. Travel safely over the rainbow bridge.
Rest in Peace John Henry
You will be remembered with the great one.
John Henry, I will always remember you with great love. You were an inspiration. How I will miss you terribly!
Rest in Peace John Henry. Although I never met you, I've read all about the wonderful legend and character that you were. Say hi to Barbaro for me, and all the other creatures in Equine Heaven.
I can not believe you are gone. You will be missed. You were one of a kind. Be free and happy now as you run with the Heavenly herd.
RIP to a great champion. Run with the angels, John Henry, You are loved and will be missed.
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
For all of the connections of John Henry - you have my deepest sympathy. I know your hearts ache and I know the tears will fall, but the old guy knew it was time to go and rest - somewhere he can run again without the infirmities of old age, and race his foes in fun. What a beautiful gift he gave to all of us when he raced! He truly was amazing, and we don't get to see many like him these days - maybe the Tin Man, Lava Man, but John Henry - he was tough, tenacious, and thrilling! It was always a joy to see him at the KY Horse Park, despite his somewhat cranky demeanor. My heart aches for those who cared for him daily, because they knew this old curmudgeon really had a heart of gold. What a horse! Truly, what a horse.
The Hall of Champions Barn
Is Silent this morning
No banging on the door
At 4:00 am
No kicking the door
For his morning walk
The stall is empty
The other horses
Cigar looks over
And no longer
Sees his old friend
They had fun
After lights out
There was only
The old man is gone
The living legend
Oh, for one
One last time
The stall is empty
But my heart
Down my Face
Rest In Peace
John, you were a part of my young life. I was in California for every race you ran, even your very first. I will always think of you as my champion.
It was always a thrill to see John Henry come galloping or charging down the stretch in all his glory. Just like when he retired from a very sucessful racing career he was missed but now although he is still with us in spirit, memories, and photos he is missed in his passing all the more. Have a great rest old friend.
RIP, you good boy you. So glad you had such a long and happy life, and that you were with such good people who let you do what you liked and let you eat what you liked until the end; people who knew to do the right thing at the right time. Still, so sorry you had to leave us.
My condolences to all his connections and caretakers - thank you for taking such good care of him. He deserved no less.
Caroline Jaffe, steadfast Friend of Barbaro and lifelong horse lover and horse owner http://www.mythicfigs.org
Thanks for the memories John. May you rest in peace. You will be missed.
It is with tears in my eyes I read of John's passing. He was a very special horse and the world has lost a great one. My thoughts and prayers go out to all his friends and caretakes at KHP. He brought mucy joy to his fans over these last 22 years.
Rest in peace sweet boy..
Rest in peace, John Henry.
What a grand life you lived. You will be missed.
Farewell to a racing legend. Rest in peace, John Henry: you were truly one of a kind, and we shall not see your like again. My condolences to the wonderful staff and volunteers at the Horse Park: thank you for everything you did. His was a life very well lived, and you all helped make it possible.
Dear John Henry,
You lived life on your terms and a grand life it was. I was never fortunate enough to meet you but enjoyed reading about your antics. Rest well in heaven. You will never be forgotten and you were always loved.
Heaven welcomed a legend on October 8th @ 7pm. John Henry, you are free to run again and feel the wind in your mane. I love you, I miss you but I will see you again when God calls me Home. What an Honor that will be to see the Patriarch of Horseracing. For the love of Barbaro............always
John Henry, you touched my heart and life. I will miss you.
Thank you, John Henry, for being in our lives! Your spirit was extraordinary! What a gem you were! Rest in peace, John Henry! I love you!
Sleep well great Champion. You were so loved. How lucky I was to see you this past September. I felt the presence of greatness.
My love and prayers go out to your human family, along with my heartfelt thanks for the wonderful care you received at the Kentucky Horse Park. I will always remember you, dear John Henry, and treasure having met you a few years ago. You will live forever, Great One. Rest in Peace and in God's love.
Thanks for the memories John. You were one of a kind and will not soon be forgotten. The Horse Park will never be the same without you.
This year in May, was my first trip to Kentucky, and the highlight of my trip was my visit to the Kentucky Horse Park to see John Henry and Cigar.
John Henry's passing made my memories even more poignant and certainly more precious.
I love you, John Henry.
I saw you run at Meadowlands back in 1981. Saw you again at the Ken. Horse Park. You were always the favorite and will always be in our hearts. I can see you now galloping across heaven. Well done our good and favorite horse.
I feel so honored to have seen you this past Friday after traveling from Texas. Your courageous fighting spirit will live on in all our hearts. Farewell, old friend.
Beautiful boy. What a champion you are. You fooled them all and became one of the greatest race horses in history. Go with Barbaro and the great Secretariat now.
God bless you, John.
I remember visiting with you when I was younger and lived in Lexington. You will always be remembered.
You will be missed Big Guy. You were truly the definition of a Champion. My sympathy to all who loved you.
God Speed John Henry. You lived life on your own terms. You were one of a kind. Enjoy Equine Heaven . You will be young again and you can have as many donuts as you want!
Rest in peace John Henry. You were a great champion even if you weren't always a gentleman.
Run with the angels, beautiful boy... you'll be missed, but you'll be in our hearts forever.
John, no words can express what you've meant to this ole heart of mine. I'll never forget you .I know your years at KHP were happy ones--even if you din't let on publicly! RIP .
To all who cared for John so well for so long, my deepest condolences.
Goodbye John Henry...you certainly lived life to the fullest. You won't be forgotten.
a sad good-bye my friend "johnjohn", as you were called in your awesome racing days. I have photos of you and I at the KHP, and amazingly, yet maybe not since I have such a special connection with horses, you just loved me. You kept going for my pocket to grab the yummy mints, you kept putting your head on my shoulder, you wouldn't let me leave your stall, Kathy allowed me to walk with you, so the visitors could gaze at you. What an awesome horse you were, and the photo of you and I now graces my wall alongside of Barbaro and Slew. Your feistiness was a testiment to living to the great old age of 32, and you will always be remembered.
Godspeed John Henry. I had the honor of seeing you several times at the KHP. And you will stand forever, just catching The Bart in the Million, in the beautiful statue of that moment at Arlington Park. You were truly special.
My sincere condolences to all of John's caretakers at the Park. You can never prepare your heart for a loss so great. May your many happy memories bring you comfort.
John, you have no equal. RIP
May god bless John Henry.
Rest in Peace.
Rest in Peace dear John Henry. May you be surrounded by God's love. You were a great horse with so much character and you will be missed by so many. WE LOVE YOU JOHN HENRY
How much better we all are as human-beings,for having known you,John.You have inspired and encouraged so many of us in the horse world..Go now John,and race in your "forever home"..Our hearts are weeping,but we are grateful for the time we had..
Sleep well, John Henry. You are remembered with great fondness
Just read the announcement of John Henry's death, and, though, we all knew to prepare ourselves for this very sad day, it's still so painful knowing he's not with us.
My heartfelt condolences to all those wonderful caregivers and true friends of this special fella. My heart aches for all of you .... no words of sympathy can express my sorrow for you good folks at this time.
Go in peace, John Henry! You made your mama and daddy mighty proud .... you lived up to your name .... "steel driving man"!
John Henry is now heaven's reward, so let's all wish him a great ride to the Big Sky .... and say "thank you" for all the great thrilling times .... on and off the racetrack. John Henry, you should be so proud! You were and always will be... one of a kind! You'll never be forgotten. Rest in peace, dear fella.
I was so sadded yesterday when I read that John Henry an awesome legend had to leave our world. When I was little girl I had the blessed opportunity to meet him and stroke his face.
With tears and sadness in my heart, I know that I more blessed to have met him.
What a beautiful legend!
You are so loved and will be so missed. I feel so honored to have gotten to meet you this past summer. Rest in Peace John Henry!
Rest in Peace, John Henry. You are truly loved.
Rest in peace big guy!! You had a long and healthy life and now you've crossed over the rainbow bridge to greet Barbaro, Secretariat and many others. Godspeed for your spirit!!
God is the Author of all that is exceptional. He deposited some of this treasure into John Henry. Giving him a heart that wouldn't settle for second place...a personality that refused to mellow even under the weight of years... and a career that will forever stand as an example that true greatness can never be predicted by pedigree...
A great horse and he lived a long good life, rest in peace John Henry
Humbled by his Greatness. If U ever visited him U loved his spirit.
Rest in Peace big guy (well, I know you'll give them heck up at the Rainbow Bridge!) We should thank you for all the memories! You will be missed!
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Rest in peace John Henry. I am so glad I got to meet you in August. You will always be in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
God bless you John. You are a true champion and will be forever remembered and missed.
You rocked the world in your legendary life. How great is that?!?
I would say "Rest in Peace," except that doesn't fit you at all. So instead, John Henry, I bid you "Gallop in Glory, Stomp Steel Tubs in Grandeur."
To quote the Shakespeare quote they laid upon you:
"Some are born great; others achieve greatness."
You were greatness personified.
I know you won't mind (and in fact would expect nothing less of your public) if all of us who were blessed to know you give you a final round of applause and acclaim to the announcer's words:
"Ladies and gentlemen, The Great John Henry."
GIG John Henry (1975-2007)
I'm so sad to hear the news. But what a wonderful and blessed life. John Henry, you'll be missed by all!
May you fly with Pegasus and as always
Do it your way! You will be missed
The Hall of Champions Barn
Is Silent this morning
No banging on the door
At 4:00 am
No kicking the door
For his morning walk
The stall is empty
The other horses
Cigar looks over
And no longer
Sees his old friend
They had fun
After lights out
There was only
The old man is gone
The living legend
Oh, for one
One last time
The stall is empty
But my heart
Down my Face
Rest In Peace
John, We are so honored to have become so close to you and your friends at the park. We wanted to stay with you today but felt we had best leave you with your family.
We will miss you and think of you every day.
May God bless you and watch over you, run free and happy forever.
Love you always.
Mary and Bob
John - you have made your mark ... you represented determination, stamina and heart.
John Henry, such a beautiful and grand horse you were. Run with Barbaro and all the others gone before you and be free and young again. Miss you beautiful boy! You are and were so loved and revered. RIP and Godsend. Condolences to everyone involved with this great champion or who just loved him from far away.
Everyone touched by John Henry has been made a better person. We honor him by how we care for our horses.
Sweet John Henry-
You had a great run. Unfortunately, the body usually gives out before the mind. You will be dearly missed and never forgotten.
Run free and punch holes in the clouds!
Thanks for all of the memories you have given us. I was fortunate to see you in March. You were out grazing, and I watched you for a very long time. My sincerest appreciation to everyone at the Kentucky Horse Park who took care of you.
I'm so sorry racing lost one of it's Great Champions, John Henry had such great heart and determination I guess I thought he would live forever. To John Henry - Rest in Peace, you've left this earth but will not be forgotten. To all those who cared for John Henry, my sincere condolences for your loss, you gave him a long, happy retirement and did everything you could for him when he needed it - no horse could ask for more. He'll be missed.
Thanks for the honor of allowing me and my children in your presence several times in the nineties and early 2000s. It was such a lesson for them to see such greatness steeled with humility. You were an object lesson for them, to recognize and appreciate all great achievments. Bless you, John, and may you run forever. You were an original, and a truly wonderful spirit.
Beautiful John Henry,
may you now graze
peacefully in the
Much Love to you forever, Lisa.
The world is missing a champion today, John, with many tears and much sadness. I wish healing and peace to all the wounded hearts you have left behind. But I know you are running wild across the fields of Heaven, young and strong once again. God Speed, John Henry!
RIP, dear John Henry. You have more than earned your wings.
32 years is a long time. You had a grand life, in fact, it was one of the best lives a horse could live. That's all we can do for a champion, a hero, a legend.
I'm sure you heard the call to post as you crossed the bridge. You are in the Winner's Circle again after all these years.
I love you and hope to see you again someday, old friend.
Dear John Henry- I met you this past August.You touched my heart. Much love and gratitude goes out to your caregivers. Bless you John Henry... your spirit will lift us forever.
God Bless you John Henry. May you continue with your ornery ways in Horse Heaven. Although I'm sure Barbaro and the others will reign you in:-)
Precious John Henry, you have left your mark on this world, and in each of our hearts, you will always be loved and missed.
Sleep tight sweet boy.
You were one of a kind, you lived your life your way and you will be missed but never forgotten.
ALWAYS ACN FOR YOU, GREAT CHAMP IN THE EQUINE WORLD. HOPE BARBARO AND RUFFIAN WERE THERE TO ESCORT YOU TO THAT GREAT PASTURE IN THE SKY. YOU ARE DEEPLY LOVED AND MISSED JUST AS OUR BBH.
Another great champion joins the likes of Secretariat, Affirmed, Northern Dancer and Izvestia, to name only a few, at The Bridge. Oh what wondrous races will go unnoticed!
It was an honour to meet you, last summer, John. God Bless you .. with love from a Canadian friend and special thoughts for Cathy.
RIP John Henry. You were a great champion and will be missed by many.
You were a part of my racing teen years. A true Champion that now will join his peers in a place with no pain. Thanks for the memories
Run Free Run Fast John Henry
Thank you for the memories, dear John Henry! Your wonderful spirit lives on.
We will miss your fiesty spirit. We love you John Henry and will miss you always. Thank you for everything you gave to us in your lifetime.
It was an honor to meet you in person. Go baby go! Will miss you.
Godspeed, John Henry. Run free with the heavenly herd.
Dear, dear John. We wanted to keep you forever.I am so glad we got to see you last week. There is so much to say but no way to say it. You will be forever in my heart. Our thoughts are with your caretakers. See you at the Rainbow Bridge. A FOB, "Johnsfan" always.
You will forever be my hero...Rest in Peace.
Thank you for all the great memories. You showed millions what the heart of Thoroughbred is. You're free to run as fast and as far as you like.
You will be greatly missed. We loved you so much. Rest in peace john Henry.
John Henry led a blessed life. Not all horses are as fortunate -- if only they were...
Rest In Peace noble steed; you brought pleasure to many during the course of your long life...
God bless you John Henry, you were a
great and mighty champion. May you be
happy in heaven.
God Bless John John
Bill and Radar
I am so glad that I visited KHP this summer and got to see John Henry, even though it was at a distance. I am heart-broken at his loss, but John Henry now runs in sunny pastures. He's young again, he's strong, and there are plenty of chocolate donut holes.
Thank you John Henry, for the many gifts you've given us. May God bless you and welcome you Home.
Thank you staff and volunteers at KHP for the love and care you've given John Henry for 22 years. Your loving kindness is why John Henry wanted to live as long as he did. He couldn't have wanted more. May God bless you all, and comfort you with the memories you have of that Great Champion.
RIP John Henry.
John, you were without a doubt, the greatest.
You were what all good racehorses strive to be -
A heart that came in "Extra Large" size.
May you rest in peace and glory,
R.I.P. John Henry. You were loved by all of us, you were one of a kind and an inspiration to all. You will be so sorely missed, love you always. Run free and healthy again in God's care.
I'm so glad we came down again to see you last month..."give 'em hell" in Heaven, Mr John !
John Henry, your spirit will always sing.
Precious John Henry,
Run free with the champions that have gone before you, sweet boy! I am certain that Barbaro was waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge. Safe passage and God Bless!
Fan of Barbaro Forever
Rest in Peace big guy. You will be dearly missed. Run like the wind!
Starting this day with a heavy heart. I had the pleasure of watching John Henry race at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park, and as a 17-year old, flew alone to Chicago to attend the first Arlington Million. John always has been, and always will be, my favorite race horse. I've visited him on 3 occaisions at the Horse Park the day before the Kentucky Derby, and my wife encouraged me to go pet him while he was being bathed on our most recent visit. I protested, saying "um... he's a bit hornery, he bites", but she won and got a great photo, and John was enjoying the attention. He always loved the camera. Our plan is to attend the Derby in 2008. We'll go to the Horse Park, but it won't be the same. John Henry will be missed but we'll always have the memories. Run free and rest in peace John.
God bless you, John Henry...until we meet again...
Farewell to a great champion and personality. You will be missed.
Thanks for the wonderful memories, John! I always looked forward to seeing you every time I came down with my horse for the Sidesaddle weekend. John, you will always be indelibly engraved on my heart.
Farewell, John Henry. Your courage and determination were an inspiration to so many. Thank you to all those at the Kentucky Horse Park who gave you a long and happy retirement and the ability to develop the softer side of your personality! I will always treasure the memory of meeting you in October 1990 when you kissed my hand and let me pat you. Rest in peace.
Run again with all the great horses that have gone before you. You will be greatly missed, but glad you are not in pain anymore. Run on John.
You were truly a great Champion dear boy, and I will never forget you. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to see you a few years ago. You will always be in my heart.
You are truly an inspiration for fighting until the end. We read about you and were grateful that we had the opportunity to finally meet you 2 years ago. We are blessed that we just visited you most recently this past April. You are a blessing from God. Now you run with not only the greats that have gone before you, but with all horses who have left an impression in someone's heart.
Until we meet again.
Dan and Kim (Bradenton, FL)
RIP , you were one in a million john henry, you will be missed.
May you rest in peace and run in our hearts forever and ever where you will always be.
Dearest John, may you run free with you're friends above and look down on us with great pride. You're sweet journey here on earth has left all of us better for knowing you. Rest in Peace now my friend ! God Speed !
Your are truly a legend and much loved. You have crossed the Rainbow Bridge and have been met by many great ones. I am sure our beloved Barbaro was there to meet you. You will be forever in our hearts. Godspeed
What an honor to have stood in his presence, and I am so glad I was able to do so. God Speed to one of the greatest race horses that ever raced, and thank you.
Tears are flowing as I write this to you John Henry. There will never be another horse like you JH. You were amazing on and off the track. Run free with Barbaro and all the great ones that have gone before you.
You will be missed, but never forgotten.
John Henry, one of America's true thoroughbred champions. What a grand old age you achieved; will always remember seeing you in 1997. Now you are running in the Lord's meadows!
John Henry, I've loved you since I was a child and mourn you now. Why did I think you'd live forever? I am so glad that I got to meet you - still with that spark that made you great. That made you the one & only John Henry. You will be missed & celebrated as long as I live.
Rest in Peace, great one.
You were an incredible champion, and will always be remembered.
John Henry...God be with you, and may Barbaro and his frens meet you at Heaven's Gate...Thank you, and for giving us the true meaning of life.
My Sweet "Big Bad John." I was privileged to help care for you at the Horse Park. You own such a huge part of my heart and although I am sad you are gone, I know you are at peace in Paradise! My love to you always.
Godspeed old man. May you enjoy your days racing with your old friends and foes.
Goodbye John Henry. Thank You for blessing all of us with your presence for so long, we will truly miss you!
Rest in peace, beloved horse. You will never be forgotten...Lots of love from Northeast PA!
My visits to the Horse Park will never be the same! Not only was he a great racehorse, he also had quite the personality. John Henry was a personal treasure that will sorely missed.
You are a true hero, it was an honor to stand in you presence...RIP John Henry.
Dear boy - not every horse has to be sugary sweet to be loved! God broke the mold when he made you - and people loved you so much, no matter what your mood was. There will never be another horse like you and we will miss laughing over your grumpy antics. Godspeed dear John Henry!
Godspeed John Henry. You will be missed my friend. You may now run with all the other greats who have left before you.
We are so glad we had the chance to see you just a week ago. All the best to you and everyone who cared for you.
I am so saddened at the news that this great Champion has passed,but now he runs with the Heavenly Herd.
He crossed the finish line at the Rainbow Bridge welcomed by a crowd of Champions, and now the magnificent John Henry runs with the wind.
We love you !
From an FOB - A Grateful Fan of Barbaro!
RIP old man
Run now like you always did, your soul is free!
Have safe passage over the Rainbow Bridge
"Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears
But laugh and talk of me as if I were here with you.
I loved you so
'Twas heaven here with you"
Ishla Pacal Richardson
To those of us who take care of the old timers, there is comfort in knowing that you did your best for them in their last days. Good job, guys, bringing him this far. What a sad day for horse lovers.
Trish Russo, SC
Dear John Henry, although I never met you I have your picture in my studio, along with Barbaro. You are one of the legends...one in a million who comes along and captures the imagination of a nation. Rest In Peace dear Prince.
Forever a champion in our hearts, you will be missed, but your spirit lives on. Run free.
Sympathy to all connections you were a true champion. Now at peace with the other greats of the racing world.
Love Myra & Madalaine Stanway
You were one tough son of a gun, which I will always remember.
May God Bless and keep you close. Run with the wind sweet boy.
May you rest in peace, you will be missed.
Run pain free John Henry, Over the RAinbow Bridge..I will miss you and always have you in my heart.
Hugz and Love
Rest in Peace. You were a Grand Old Man. May you run with all the other Greats that have gone before you.
Farewell dear John Henry. May you run in green pastures forever. Rest in peace, dear boy. I'm sure God greeted you by saying "Well done my boy, well done."
I so wish I had gotten to make the trip to see you, but now I will visit your burial site. May you Rest in Peace.
You were one of the great ones John. You proved the experts wrong and amazed everyone with your determination and fire.
The loss of you has left a void that will never be filled. You were one of a kind and will not be forgotten. A truly magnificent and unique creature who's life we were blessed to share. Rest in peace, dear John Henry.
God speed Big Man, you are in great company up there.
One of greatest horses I have ever met. You will be missed. A true Champion!
Rest in peace champ,you were & always will be one of the best.you were truly great.
Godspeed John Henry. You will always be loved for your boundless soul. You lead kindred spirits ever higher... higher than they ever dreamed possible before you.
John Henry, you did it your way and gave us all an irreplaceable hero. You had a glorious life, but we still wish you could have stayed a little longer!
Rest in Peace John Henry, you will be missed.
Rest in Peace - You won't be forgotten.
To one of the best of your era, may your races and your stories from the Kentucky Horse Park live on. It was my privelage to have known you and to have celebrated with you over the years. Rest in peace my friend, you will be missed.
God speed to you John Henry as you are now part of the Heavenly Herd. Run free,and run hard with all your friends in the green pastures of Heaven.
I'll miss you John Henry. You were one of the best!!! My condolences to your human family.
Dear John Henry: I was hoping to meet you in person next June at the Kentucky Horse Park. You were truly a grand old man and your likes won't be seen again. Wishing you plenty of chocolate doughnuts as you pass over the Rainbow Bridge. Peace, RMH
Godspeed John Henry, you leave behind so many who love you. No fuller a life has any man, than you, Dear John Henry!
John Henry, please look for Barbaro, let him know he was on a path of fullness, and he did feed the multitude his all before he departed.
Peace and Blessing for You
Godspeed, Mr. John Henry, Godspeed
You were an awesome sight, even at 32. You were a force to be reckoned with. You are running free now, running strong.
Godspeed John Henry. You have earned your rest.
We saw the best and know that you always carried yourself as one the brightest of bright that will be. From humble beginnings, much like another, Seabiscuit, you showed us that you had your own tale to write in the record books. You are sorely missed, love to you and your new found friends and colleagues.
Goodbye my friend. Thank You for sharing a decade of your life with me.
This is a sad day as the racing world lost a legend..the great John Henry...I will always remember the many, many times i visited JH at the KHP..and the birthday party i attended a few years ago and they played the song..FOREVER YOUNG...That described this great horse...and when he raced the song they played was GLORY DAYS...that described those days too..my condolences to the staff at the KHP who took great care of JH..I will miss him so much when i go to the KHP next time..He was the horse park to me...I know hes with his friend, FOREGO, and all the others that are buried at the KHP and all the other greats..Love and miss you, always..
Dearest John Henry:
I deeply regret never meeting you;
my plans were made to come see you.
I loved reading about you and your spirit; and your daily outings. We will miss you terribly,but you will be in good company in your new home. Good Bye John Henry.
I will never forget going to the horse park at my first USPC finals and going with my Dad to see John Henry. That was such a special time in my life and it was enriched by this great horse. Thank you John Henry! you will be missed!
Rest In Piece great wonder..you earned it and deserve it...yet we miss you already. So glad you had a long wonderful life. Run now with Barbaro, Fog, Pine Island and the others, in peace and never be hurt or in pain again! We Love You
Farewell .. not goodbye. You are up there racing again and the crowds are cheering once more.
John Henry, you were named for a man of iron and how appropriate that name turned out to be! You were truly an "iron horse," with a sort of courage that is rarely seen in horse or human. I know that now you are young and strong again, racing in a better place with the other great champions who have gone before you.
John Henry, I know there is a grand party going on in heaven tonight in celebration of your arrival. Thank you for always being yourself and showing us humans a thing or two about life. Your race on earth is over and now you can run proud and free. May God bless you!
Beloved John Henry, I loved you from the first moment. You gave me my greatest thrills. You showed what a real Champion is. I am grateful for your life & saddened beyond words at your death. I will love you & miss you forever. RIP, Dearest One.
John Henry I never met you in person. But I watched you whenever you were on tv. I loved you and miss you. God must want some horses up there to give Barbaro a hard time. He had some fiestiness in him too. You were so beautiful. Remember Barbaro and Ruffian are just kids bring them up right. Tell God hi for me.
Goodnight, Sweet Prince. You lived your life with grit, tenacity, and courage. Barbaro is at Heaven's Gate to welcome you home. Please take care of each other.
You are greatly missed, John Henry. Rest in Peace.
Rest In Peace John Henry!
A magnificent Equine who was more then just a Horse and will be remembered for that for years to come.
I am sorry for your loss.
He did have a wonderful life and many caring people. His memories will live on in hearts around the world.
God Bless You, John Henry. I was honored to meet you nearly 18 years ago, you honory, brave boy. Rest in peace, with Barbaro by your side.
Godspeed to the grandest old man
of racing! You will be missed by many!
My heart sank when I heard that John Henry left us. We knew the end was near for John Henry,but it is still a shock. You were a true warrior,that had a long fullied life. You did it your way,John Henry.You are a true lengend. You will be dearly missed and never forgotton.
You are now pain free John Henry,so go ahead and run run run
Rest In Peace JOHN Henry
Rest in Peace dear friend. You have brought so much love and warmth to all around you. You are now in heaven with SB, Citation, Seattle Slew and Secretariat. There are many champions with you now. You will certainally be remembered with the above mentioned.
So many of us in horse racing grew up with you John. Thank you for all the good times and good memories. May you run free in Heaven's pasture...and in no more pain. Ruffian and Barbaro will meet you at those big beautiful pasture gates and welcome you home. Good-bye old boy.....
I was honored to get to see John in May of this year as he peacefully grazed in his paddock. He is now grazing the green fields above and my heart goes out to the caretakers who have taken such good care of him for all of these years. Rest in peace John.
Rest in peace, beloved JOHN HENRY, and may light perpetual shine upon you.
The heavenly herd surely bowed their heads to honor the grand entrance of a superstar tonight!
With great sadness and the utmost respect,
Your passing is breaking many hearts, big boy..Guess I thought you'd be here forever. My friend visited you last week, and you showed her you were still The Man. You are loved by so many. Run in Heaven, dear John. Run to Barbaro, Pine Island, Ruffian, Secretariat, all the great ones who have gone on before you. The not so great ones, loved nonetheless, like my girls will greet you and show you where the best grass is. The young ones who left us before there time will greet you, in awe and with reverence. It will be a great time in Heaven tonight. I'll listen for you in the thunder, John Henry. You will never be forgotten
I thank the Good Lord for giving you to us for so long and a beautiful life! You are a champion and forever will be. I will remember all the times I spent visiting with you, especially our last visit in April when we knew that we wouldn't see each other again in this life. I am so sad that you're gone, Big Guy, but happy to know that you're now immortal, pain-free, vibrant and young once again. You are loved, John Henry!
My deepest sympathies to Kathy Roby and staff at the Hall of Champions and to all others who loved and respected this champ.
Run fast and free, John Henry, with the others before the Lord.
I will remember you forever until I too cross the Rainbow Bridge.
RIP John Henry. You were a true legend and an inspiration to all involved in racing. Equine Heaven will be a better place tonight because of your presence. My deepest sympathy to those close to you that are grieving your loss.
Oh John Henry, what a gallant boy you have been. You gave your all and, as you pass into the loving hands of God, remember...you will never forgotten. Tears for you tonight, sweet boy. Run like the wind with the Heavenly Herd.
Rest in Peace Great Champion. You will be missed. Thank you to all of John's caretakers for taking such great care of John in his retirement. So many people loved him. It should be that way for all of our beloved horses.
John Henry you are my favorite horse because of your indomitable spirit! RIP!
I'm so new to horses but your story intrigued me. I only wish I had a chance to know more about you.
But in Equine Heaven, they have welcomed royalty!
God Speed, champion John Henry!
I KNOW I'll meet you some day!
John, you were a great champion, and loved by all. I will surely miss seeing you when I visit the Kentucky Horse Park. Rest in peace with Barbaro, Secretatiat, Lost in the Fog and all of the other great horses that have gone before.
I'll always remember you.
John Henry. John Henry! I have spoken your name with reverence every day for the past 30 years and I shall continue to do so. I had hoped to visit you again, but I am too late and I type through my tears. Your greatness enriched all of us. You are still here. We just cannot see you any more.
A true thoroughbred legend who will not be fogotten. Stories of you will be told over and over and the legend that is John Henry will only grow stronger with time. Thank you!
John Henry was the greatest Champion of all time, he showed us through his strength and determination to stay strong and to always be a winner. John Henry will always live on in our memories and in our hearts, rest in peace John Henry, you are missed so dearly.
Run free John Henry, with the heavenly herd of champions. You will be greatly missed...
To everyone connected to this beautiful old guy...my heart is broken and I only 'met' him through a story Alex Brown posted a link to on either ABR or TWR, seems only a few weeks ago...I was so touched by his story of a fairly new exercise program he seemed to really be enjoying. I got such a kick out of reading how he changed his direction one day when he heard the music for the Parade of Champions and went right there to be in line and part of that parade:)
I'm so grateful that he had such a long, happy life and was so loved and well cared for right to the end! I wish it could be like that for ALL the race horses!!
I know Barbaro and all the others will welcome him home and they will all have a wonderful time listening to all his great stories! I just read on Equine Heaven, Slew is sharing LOTS of chocolate donuts with him right now:)
He will live forever in the hearts of those who loved him so!
Rest in peace, John Henry. I didn't know you but I heard all about you. May your spirit soar like the wind over green pastures, wild and free of all bodily pain.
Dear sweet boy tonight I weep for I know there will never be another cut from your mold!
Know that you were adored and appreciated not just for your accomplishments on the track which were enormous but also for your individualistic personality and courageous spirit....I'm thankful and comforted knowing that you were surrounded by the people who loved you most and allowed to go peacefully and painlessly!!!!We'll miss you...John !!! We'll miss you...
I feel so darn lucky to have met him and loved him. It breaks my heart to know that he is gone now but I'm uplifted knowing he is now running again with the "great ones". My heart and prayers go out to the Kentucky Horse Park and his trainers and care givers who have to pass his empty stall now.
RIP, John Henry, you fought the good fight....
John, you gave me back horse racing when my beloved Spectacular Bid was retired. You introduced this then younger race fan to the thrill of turf racing. And to lasting greatness. Charlie Whittingham once said if he couldn't beat you on the racetrack, he hoped to outlive you. I imagine he met you today with an exclamation of "It's about time, old man!!"...and I am sure Shoemaker was there as well. You're in fine hands, John.
You were a racehorse like no other. Your terms. Your way. It was my honor to spend time with you in the past two years. You had the courage of your convictions from birth to the end, and that honesty is a true gift. Thank you, John, we won't forget.
To a very brave soldier: You will never be forgotten and I will think of you often. God bless.
My sister and I had to good fortune to "meet" John in 1996 during our trip to the Kentucky Derby. I told my sister that I had to go to the Kentucky Horse Park and see the great Forego and John Henry. We just sat in front of his stall and watched him. Even in "still life", he radiated greatness. That was one of the best moments in my life.
He was one of my favorites. God speed, John Henry...and I know Shoe is going to find you. What stories you will have to share with each other.
You Are God's Angel And You Are Love.
In my heart he will remain ... forever young.
Godspeed John on your final journey.
Thank-you for being a feisty, wonderful horse. Bless your wonderful soul. You will be missed and will always be loved. Run like the wind, Champ.
Good bye old fella. The FOB and I will always remember you. How could we not.
Barbaro, take care of John and show him the way.
We love and miss you both so much!
"Sir" John Henry,
It was a priviledge to know about you.... You did it your way!!!!! The price of love is grief, as so elequently stated by Gretchen Jackson....
Ro & Brady
We are going to miss you, Barbaro and his frens will be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge.
You were such an inspiration for me as a young exercise girl when you won the million for the second time. Godspeed boy; you will be missed.
I saw in your eyes today the same spirit that made me smile my first day at work. I never got tired of hearing your wonderful story at the Hall of Champions show and I'll always remember the tough little horse with his head held proud. I was both saddened and honored to have been with you for a few moments today.
Rest peacefully John Henry. You'll have a great time with all the others who passed before you. Have fun in your new home. You will always be remembered and loved. Show'em all that John Henry spunk.
I never got to see you but you made an impact on the sport of kings. Rest in peace dear Sir.
Rest In Peace Dear John Henry. I had the honor of seeing you race and I wish you chocolate donuts forever to your hearts content. A True Champion
You left before I could meet you next week. You are now free from pain. You did things your way. There never has or will be another like you. I hope you are able to run free again. Vaya con Dios, John Henry.
Rest in Peace John Henry, you will be missed. Take good care of him Barbaro
You were a strong and determined horse. You are an even more powerful spirit. Thank you for our time together - I'm glad you decided to allow me to say the prayer - and that you liked it.
i was there when he could outrun them all. good job to all who have taken care of him since
Rest in peace John Henry; I am so glad I was able to visit you over these several years; you were so loved and your life exemplified your great fighting spirit.
Rest in Peace my Liege, Rest in Peace.
Vaya con Dios, John Henry
I am so glad I was able to visit with you yesterday.
Rest in Peace old man and run with the wind!!
Rest in peace great Champion. Heaven just became a better place as John Henry joins Barbaro, Secretariat, Seattle Slew and the rest of the great horse racing nation. There are a lot of tears at Santa Anita today. We'll miss you.
It was an honor to have watched you race and live your life with dignity. All horses go to heaven and you will lead the race there also.
run in peace, john henry. bless you for all your spunk and living a great life. those youngsters had nothing on you. tell barbaro hello.
You Captured the Spotlight and the hearts of many people. You are THE greatest Champion that ever lived. RIP John Henry.
RIP John. You were a great guy and will be missed. You will ALWAYS be remembered!!!
Rest in Peace... You will always be a great champion!!
You ran the race. You fought the fight. Rest in peace, John Henry!
Sorry to hear of your passing, John Henry. You lived a good long life. May you run like the wind with your former friends and stable mates forever. You will be remembered. May you rest in peace.
Rest In Peace Big Fellow..
John Henry - You will always be a great champion to us and we will all miss you very much. During your long racing career you gave us many unforgetable thrilling moments. Run free great champion.
JOHN HENRY what a GREAT RUNNERyou were and now are AND ALLWAYS WILL BE up there in horsey heaven running with the best and racing through the stars like a heart of gold you are AND will be in my heart and in my mind for ever I love you old boy rest in peace.....
He still had his winning ways this summer. what a horse
Dear John Henry,
There will never another champ like you. You were amazing. We will love and cherish you forever. You captivated the world. You touched the very young to the very old. You will be missed. God bless you!
John dear, I am so so sad and will remember you forever. You had a presence that we have never seen before and may never see again.
RIP big man!
Rest in Peace, John Henry.
I'm glad I got to see you last year at the Hall of Champions. The camera crews were there that day to see Jerry Bailey visit Cigar, but you were the star attraction for me! What a career--what a legend--RIP, Iron Man.
John- you were the BEST! I am so glad to have finally met you. You made my day by coming over to let me pet you! You will be missed terribly. There will never be another!
Thanks for all the runs. I will miss seeing you at the Park.. Sleep well and know you did a good thing.
Dearest John Henry: May you run with all the other greats that went on before you. Thank you for being with us for a while & giving us much to admire & appreciate. Godspeed Great One!I will always love you & smile when I think of you,which will be often. Tessa
May your spirit live on as you rejoin your old friend Forego and those champions with him. You are simply unforgettable and a true legend.
It is so rarely that we are graced with the opportunity to witness true greatness, and we will never forget yours. We will also never forget your courage, durability, and will to win. Horse racing today needs your kind of grace and integrity. Rest in peace, Champ.
Rest in peace John, you were a great champion
I was so happy to see you Friday.I'm so happy I got to see you again old friend. I just got home from Kentucky and just got the news.I will miss you but NEVER forget you..Until we meet again, I will never forget Friday and you looking at me.All your memories will be with me always.The world lost a real champion today. GOD BLESS YOU JOHN.
I do not follow horse racing but John Henry's grit touched my soul. He is the horse of the common man.
Dearest John Henry . . . you know, I am sure, how many people loved you, and a nation weeps tonight...but I am so certain that Barbaro himself and so many more were there to salute you as you galloped through those Golden Gates of Heaven!
God Bless you John Henry! Run with the angels!!
And for all those who cared for you, blessings and comfort.
John was a grand old horse that I loved to watch thru the years. He will be missed greatly and his memory will live on! RIP
What a legend! I thank those attending to John to make the right decision to let him leave this world in dignity. I felt akin to him because we both have the same birthdays, March 9. He was a spring chicken compared to me, however but nevertheless a good Pisces. (which to me always explained his split personality). My friend and I visited him this year before the derby. (my 2nd visit). Off to horse heaven where he can team up with the other greats - "rest in peace" Mr. Henry.
Thank you John Henry for the many days of pleasure. I was there to watch you run everytime at Santa Anita. You will be missed and never replaced. My heart is so sad though you lived a wonderful life especially after you found Ron McAnally. Bless you!!!
Oh John Henry! My sister and I just stopped by to say hello this past Saturday and I knew you were getting ready to leave us. You were so loved by so many, you old curmudgeon. Thank you for all the memories!
Because you were a superhouse on the track you captured out attention so that we could see who you really were. You are much more then a racehorse. You are an extraordinary life that happened to be a racehorse. You are a teacher. You taught us that no matter how humble our circumstances, with will and character, we too can become a superstar. And, we don't even have to be pretty. Your legacy will inspire people to reach levels of achievement that they thought not possible. You ripped the "im" from the word impossile and tossed it aside. We will no longer see you as you reigned at Kentucky Horse Park but your lessons will never leave us. God bless you.
One of the Great Ones. Rest in Peace sweet boy.
John, although I became interested in racing long after you ran, I feel safe in saying there will never be another like you. I enjoyed visiting you at the horse park from time to time. RIP big guy
God Bless You John Henry, I will never forget you. I know Barbaro will be by your side. R. I. P.
Love you forever Sharon
What a great, great horse! We were fortunate that he was a part of our lives. It is just so hard to imagine he is no longer here. My condolances to all those who loved and cared for him.
It was a pleasure working with John during my first years in Kentucky. Always honest about how he felt, I enjoyed my many days of handling him and being around him all day. I will always remember his fondness for McDonald fries, his quickness, and his high level of intelligence. It was with great sadness I have learned of his passing. My thoughts go out to Cathy, who loved him as much as any human could love another. It is a credit to her that he lived as long as he did.
Rest in Peace gentle giant - you are a piece of American History and will live in the hearts of those that have loved you forever.
I am just in tears. We will miss you always. You are THE champion of forever.
God bless you, John Henry. You will be missed dearly.
The little engine that could....the racing world will miss you greatly. Size does not matter when you have a heart of gold!
Rest in Peace sweet John Henry. You lived a long and glorious life. Run with Barbaro and all the other racing greats. May the glory of God help your handlers through this sorrowful time.
Thank you for all the joy and interest you brought to racing and horses in general. We're so glad we had a chance to meet you at your last home, the Kentucky Horse Park. You leave a wonderful legacy of achievement and boisterous personality. Rest your soul.
--Dick and Jane
Godspeed Old Man, may you run like the wind once again.
I met dearest John Henry in December 2006 during my first visit to the Kentucky Horse Park. He was so beautiful - and still feisty!
While I'm so sorry that he's gone from us, I take great comfort in having met him and knowing that his earthly ordeal ended peacefully and lovingly. I'm sure he was met at The Bridge by Barbaro, Ruffian, Go For Wand, Lost in the Fog, and all the other beauties who crossed ahead of him.
Dearest John Henry - you will always be loved and deeply missed. Thanks SO much for the memories and the experience of knowing you!!!