I don’t know what it was that initiated my love for the Thoroughbred; maybe it was Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books, or Margurite Henry’s stories about the Godolphin Arabian and Black Gold. Either way, my horse-craziness was pretty focused from early on. My favourite racehorse growing up was Norcliffe, winner of the ’76 Queen’s Plate, a son of Buckpasser – the likely inspiration being that Buckpasser, through Man o’ War, traced back to Matchem who was the Godolphin Arabian’s most notable heir. My first oil painting, completed in a class I took as a teenager, was of Norcliffe. It’s still around here somewhere, and when I find it, I’ll post a photo, for fun!
I won’t get into all the details of my involvement in the Thoroughbred industry, but that path has brought me to here: I operate a small Thoroughbred lay-up time, and when I’m not busy with the kids in the barn, I’m in my studio painting them!
Working in the industry, one can’t help but become aware of the fate of these horses, once their racing careers are finished. Because of this, I like to use my artwork, when I can, to support the retirement group in my area: LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement. Part of my motivation with this blog was to celebrate our Canadian horses, and at the same time, hopefully, send some money LongRun’s way to help with the future of these amazing animals. I will donate a portion of any sales made as a result of this blog to them. And that doesn’t mean just original paintings; that goes for reproductions as well. It’s not too early to start thinking about Christmas, so what better gift for a Thoroughbred racing fan than a piece of artwork that also benefits the horses?
I’ll post some older pieces, as well as new ones as they come along. The horses you’ll see won’t always be big names; sometimes they’ll be tomorrow’s hopefuls on the farm, or the ones that have worked their way into hearts despite less than stellar performances at the racetrack. I hope you’ll visit often to see what transpires!