Retired racehorse’s paintings bring in the cash

Mike Krumboltz
The Upbeat
Metro Meteor and one of his creations (Photo courtesy Ron Krajewski)
Metro Meteor and one of his creations (Photo courtesy Ron Krajewski)

Metro Meteor won $300,000 during his career as a thoroughbred racehorse before injuries forced him to retire. Now the 9-year-old has found a new vocation as an abstract painter.

The "Today" show did a feature on Metro Meteor. The horse was adopted by artist Ron Krajewski and his wife, Wendy. Ron noticed that Metro liked to bob his head back and forth while chilling out in his stall.

"You can see he's always moving around," Ron said. "He would sit and his head would be up bobbing up and down all the time, and I was like, 'If we can teach him to hold a paintbrush, maybe we can do something.' I never thought he would have picked up painting.”

Not only did Metro pick up painting, but his works, which go for around $500 each, are among the most popular at a local gallery owned by Peggy Rock. She said, "I just shipped one of the smaller paintings to Japan. We probably shipped to at least 20 or 30 different states. There is a real contemporary flair to them.’’

When it comes to the quality of the artwork, some days are better than others. "There are days when I come out, and he just has a totally different brushstroke sometimes,’’ Ron said. “He’s feeling violent, (and) sometimes he’s feeling whimsical, making little circles.”

So far, the paintings have earned around $20,000. Half of that goes toward caring for Metro. The Krajewskis donate the other half to New Vocations, a racehorse adoption organization.

So, are these paintings "art" or just the scribblings of a horse? On Metro's official site, the horse's owners acknowledge the question.

Lets face reality. Art scholars are not going to have long lengthy discussions trying to decipher the hidden meaning to Metro's paintings. He is a horse. Metro's daily thought process is split between "Is it time to eat yet?" and "Who's behind me, sniffing my butt?"

It is what it is. A painting you can hang on your wall and tell all your friends it was painted by a horse. You can even show them the little specks of sawdust that always seem to find their way on to Metro's paintings.

If there is an art to a horse stroking paint on canvas with no preconceived idea of what the finished product should look like, just painting for the joy of painting, then it is art.