- From January 2019 Issue
- Written by Maggie Kimmitt
Barbara Luna has always considered herself “a reincarnated Southern belle.” So magnetic was the pull to head below the Mason-Dixon Line that Luna put down roots literally a few miles from where Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant met and signed the documents which ended the Civil War in April 1865.
Luna’s career in Thoroughbred racing covered a lot of bases: hotwalker, exercise rider, owner, trainer. She hosted Monmouth Park’s on-track handicapping show, served as editor of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association News and administered Turning for Home Inc., the aftercare program based at Parx Racing – then Philadelphia Park – in Bensalem, Pa.
But in 2012, Luna decided it was time to give back to the horses who had enriched her life for so many years. She bought a historic property in Appomattox, Va., and hung out her shingle as War Horses at Rose Bower, a retirement program for Thoroughbreds (primarily geldings) no younger than 7 years old who made at least 50 starts. While the ultimate goal, in most cases, is rehoming, Luna has ended up with some permanent residents with recognizable names.