Racking up over $130,000 in art sales, one would be surprised to know an actual equine painter raked in this large amount. No, not a human artist painting equines, but an actual equine artist. Yes, horse with a brush wedged in his teeth and all. Nonprofits like After the Finish Line work tirelessly to place retired racehorses into good homes. The lucky colts and fillies helped out by these organizations eagerly look forward to their encore careers as eventers, jumpers, trail horses, and pets.
One horse in particular, however, took a more creative path.
Meet Metro Meteor, the avid painter.
Metro Meteor, an energetic 14 year old thoroughbred, spent years on the track successfully competing in sprint races. At top tracks such as Saratoga and Belmont Park, Metro Meteor proved himself to be a competitor. Earning $300,000 in purses during a racing career from 2005 to 2009, this colt surely made a name for himself. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to a bone disease in his knees, so he came up for adoption. He fell into the hands of Ron Krajewski, a Pennsylvania-based artist who was looking for a trail horse. But he was not to be a trail horse; his knees were getting worse and soon Metro Meteor had trouble even walking.
Despite this—and despite the fact that Metro Meteor’s condition was likely to worsen—Krajewski refused to see the horse’s possibilities as limited. Perhaps it was his destiny to be an artist just like his owner. Metro Meteor lacked opposable thumbs, but he became quite adept at holding the paintbrush between his teeth. He bobbed his head up and down and painted on the canvas in front of him. He really seemed to have found his calling, and he happily went on completing—and selling—painting after painting.
Metro Meteor’s condition is now markedly better. After experimental treatment, his knees (though far from being sturdy) allow him to walk under saddle comfortably. He paints now for the benefit of other retired racehorses. Fifty percent of the profits from Metro Meteor’s paintings go to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. Metro has contributed more than $60,000 to the organization in the past 18 months.
Our friend and equine artist Donna Bernstein has collaborated with Metro Meteor below. Now you can see for yourself that not only has Metro made some strides on the track, but he’s got some slick strokes!