Gary Barber was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and currently resides in Los Angeles. He has three daughters. Barber studied commerce at Wits University in South Africa on a soccer scholarship. Always a horse racing fan, Barber in 1982 won an all-expense-paid trip to the Arlington Million from South Africa by picking four horses correctly in order to win a Rand Daily Mail handicapping competition. He initially worked as a chartered accountant in South Africa and a certified public accountant in the United States. He emigrated to the United States in 1982, following his brother Cecil, who came in 1979.
Barber has owned two Breeders’ Cup starters with his brother, Cecil. His most recent, and most successful, attempt came with Cost of Freedom, who finished third in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). In 2008, they sent out Zappa, who finished seventh in the inaugural Marathon. Barber has owned horses in partnerships with several other owners and racing operations, including Team Valor International, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Altamira Racing Stable, Kevin Tsujihara, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
His horses have won not only in the United States, but in France, Ireland, Australia and South Africa. He owns several mares, which he keeps at Margaux Farm in Kentucky, Cardiff Stud Farm in California, and Haras des Capucines in France. Barber owns approximately 50 Thoroughbreds, of which more than half are racing. He set a record for the most wins during the Del Mar meet in tandem with older brother Cecil, when the duo won 14 wins in 2008.
Co-founder, along with Roger Birnbaum, and CEO of Spyglass Entertainment, which has produced such motion pictures as "Seabiscuit" (nominated for seven Academy Awards), "Memoirs of a Geisha" (won three Academy Awards), "The Insider" (nominated for seven Academy Awards) and "The Sixth Sense" (nominated for six Academy Awards), Barber has served as executive producer of more than 50 films, including "Seabiscuit."