The retired, stakes-placed gelding Metro Meteor has received national attention from multiple media sources because of his painting skills, and on April 4 he will be featured on the Today Show with Jill Rappaport during the 8:30-9:00 a.m. segment.
Rappaport was drawn to Metro's story because 50% of the proceeds from his paintings support the racehorse aftercare efforts of New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. To date Metro, who is owned by Ron Krajewski, has sold $20,000 in paintings and has a waiting list of more than 50 for future work.
"We are very grateful for Metro's efforts and applaud the Krajewkis for their commitment to not only Metro but to the hundreds of retired racehorses that come through New Vocations that they support through the sale of each piece of art," said New Vocations Program director Anna Ford in a release. "Watching him in action is truly amazing as he really seems to enjoy painting and most of all he loves having an audience. He's a true testament that most retired racehorses prefer having a job once they leave the track."
Metro Meteor had a long, successful career as a racehorse. He was stakes-placed at 2 and again at 5, earning nearly $300,000 from 27 lifetime starts primarily at Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park.
Claimed three times during his career, Metro was fortunate Krajewski and his wife, Wendy, were part of his last ownership group. When it was deemed time for Metro to retire the Krajewskis stepped up and gave him a home. Though plagued with bad knees like many athletes, it was hoped that Metro would be suitable for casual riding.
"Unfortunately, after a couple of years as a riding horse it became apparent that Metro was losing flexibility in his knees," explained Ron Krajewski. "He had become part of our family so I started contemplating what Metro could do to other than trail riding. I am an artist so I thought if I could teach him to paint, we can still spend our days together, only we will be making art. It took some time and patience but once he understood what I was asking he got into it and surprisingly he is really good."
To bid on a Metro-painted halter, which is being auctioned along with a photo of the gelding and one of his paintings, click here. Proceeds will benefit New Vocations.