Katie Couric's Notebook: Why Barbaro Mattered

Hi everyone.

The world of horse racing is mourning the death of Barbaro - but the loss is being felt by people who don't know a furlong from a fetlock.

Thousands sent Barbaro cards, flowers, even donations to help pay for his treatment after he broke his leg in the Preakness last year. People around the world followed his recovery. He would never race again, but many hoped this thoroughbred champion would survive to graze peacefully in retirement.

But why were so many moved by him?

For some, it was his beauty and grace. For others, it was his speed and strength, the way he displayed the fierce heart of a champion. But there was also something else -- a shared visceral experience. We all watched in horror when he was hurt -- and together we shared the hope that we'd watch him recover.

Now we have to share disappointment, because this tough race horse...just four years old...lost the toughest race of his short life.

That's a page from my notebook.