OTTB Spotlight: Metro Meteor

First of all, thanks to everyone that entered the giveaway. It was really enjoyable to read your favorite 2012 moments in racing, and, not surprisingly, it seems like Paynter's recovery was among the most popular.

In a random drawing, Alicia McQuilkin was the winner of the contest. Congratulations! You should feel special as this is the very last calendar left in the Blood-Horse building. We are completely sold out!

Stay tuned for more opportunities to win Blood-Horse and OTTB merchandise in the future:)

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Today I bring you the story of a very special OTTB named Metro Meteor.

When I received an email a couple weeks ago about this former racehorse that has learned to paint and is now raising money for charity through his artistic skills, I decided to investigate further.

After talking with owner Ron Krajewski and watching some of the videos of Metro Meteor in action, I realized this is one of the best stories I've come across in a long time! 

Metro the painting horse, photos by Heidi Geraci

Metro Meteor, a bay gelding by City Zip, was a hard-knocking racehorse. In spite of the knee issues that plagued him throughout his career--he had two operations to remove bone chips--Metro Meteor still managed to retire with a solid slate of 8-3-3 from 27 starts, for earnings of nearly $300,000. Included in those efforts was a second in the 2005 With Anticipation Stakes at 2 and a third in the Pebo's Guy Stakes at Belmont Park during his 5-year-old season.

During his five seasons of racing, Metro Meteor was campaigned by five different ownership groups, the last of which was Renpher Stable, which purchased the gelding in a private transaction. At this point, Metro Meteor had gone from being a stakes and allowance horse to a low-level claimer at Penn National. In 2009, after racing just twice for Renpher Stable, a partnership group headed by Bob Oliva, it was decided the gelding's knees were in too poor of a condition to continue running. 

Oliva put the word out among his partners that Metro Meteor needed a home, and Krajewski and his wife, Wendy, decided to step up to the plate.

"We got a couple years of light trail riding out of him, but we've been battling with his knees the whole time we've had him," said Krajewski, who lives in Gettysburg, Pa. and boards Metro Meteor in Rocky Ridge, Md. "We've done knee injections, supplements, wedge shoes... everything we did made him a little bit better, but he was never great."

After an x-ray evaluation and due to the fact Metro Meteor had very little flexibility in his knees, his veterinarian suggested the gelding's trail riding days should come to an end. 

When the news about Metro Meteor's situation came, Krajewski, a full-time artist, let his creative juices flow as he pondered the gelding's next adventure.

"Metro is just a showboat--he hangs his head out of his stall and bobs it up and down, and he's really mouthy--always wants to hold something in his mouth," said Krajewski. "I was wondering if I could get him to hold a paint brush. I was looking for ways to spend time with him, because I just love him, and so I decided to teach him how to paint." 

It didn't take long before Metro Meteor got the hang of painting. Krajewski chooses the colors for him, loads the paint brush with paint, and then the gelding holds the brush in his teeth and applies the strokes to the canvas. The results of Metro Meteor's painting sessions were so impressive that Krajewski decided to spread the word about his story.


Since Metro began painting in early December, his story has been broadcasted on four northeast-area newscasts and featured in several other online stories and blogs.The gelding also has more than 1,000 "likes" on his Facebook page, which you can visit by clicking here.

"He's a totally different horse when the cameras and recorders are here," said Krajewski of Metro, who has his own studio at his stable and spends several hours a week painting with his owner. "He puts on a show and dances around--it's like Zenyatta in the paddock."

Information on how to purchase Metro's paintings, along with some videos of the gelding in action, is available at www.paintedbymetro.com. Check it out--there are even some "Metro Mini's" available for just $40 each! 

Half of the gross sales from Metro's work go to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, an organization headed by Anna Ford that I have featured on this blog several times before. Krajewski uses the other half of the proceeds to help pay for Metro's costly knee treatments. 

Metro's work is also available at Gallery 30 in Gettysburg, and in December, the gelding was the gallery's best-selling artist. Since December, Krajewski has donated $3,000 to New Vocations from Metro's painting sales, which says something about the quality of his work!

Which painting of Metro's is your favorite? Or would you choose your own colors and have Metro paint a custom piece for you?


15 Comments

Leave a Comment:

ThePictureEscape

Metro is a wonderful horse and so sweet. Truly and inspiration.  See more of his photo's from our photo shoot at www.ThePictureEscape.com

04 Feb 2013 5:06 PM
TUPSTER

Hi Esther,

I Absolutely LOVE This Story Of Metro, Thank You So Much For Checking Out, Metro's Story And Letting Us Know, About It!!!!

I will be passing this story on to everyone I know Esther, as I know they are Going To LOVE Metro's Story, Just As I LOVE IT!!!!!!

Plus Wonderful To Also Read That  Metro's Owner, is giving half Metro's Painting Earnings to New Vocations, as they do so much good for Horses, as well!!

Thank You So Much For Another Great OTTB Story, I Do Love Them All!!!!

Now am off to, check Metro's Link & More Photos of Him In Your, Photo Shoot!!!!!

Gentle Hugs xoxoxox

04 Feb 2013 10:39 PM
heather benson

Love your blog once again!  If you ever want to check an WAY outside the box idea that is working for some OTTB's, check out Horse Creek Thoroughbred's Great Gelding program...they are taking some great old campaigners, many of which are stakes winners, and turning them into cow and roping horses, of all things!  It is really neat to watch a OTTB kick the butt of the local Quarter Horses at a ranch roping! :).  Their website is horsecreektb.com/geldings.html

Keep up the GREAT WORK!!!

06 Feb 2013 12:17 AM
Esther Marr

Heather, thanks so much for the great idea. I will definitely check into that for a future Beyond the Blinkers story:)

06 Feb 2013 10:06 AM
BlueHen

Metro is a beauty!  The painting shown is lovely -- it's very pleasant to look at.  What a great way to keep a horse busy.  A friend and I were discussing earlier today how little people know about the workings of animals' minds, and then here is the heartwarming story of Metro.  Thanks for posting it -- the OTTB Spotlight is always a great read!

06 Feb 2013 10:36 AM
Hunter/Jumper

This is a great story! So unusual!

I am in the planning stages of the first Florida Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Show, to be held December 7th, in Ocala, FL. It will be an approved show by the Thoroughbred Incentive Program. We will have classes for all levels of hunters and jumpers, and great prize money! Profits will be dispersed among the Florida TB rescues. I would love to see a story about this in The Blooodhorse. It will help more and more OTTBs get new, wonderful homes as show horses. I will be starting soon on the road to asking for sponsors. Any suggests you have are very welcome!

06 Feb 2013 10:53 AM
Esther Marr

Hunter/Jumper: I would love to hear more about the Florida Thoroughbred Horse Celebration Horse Show. Please email me at emarr@bloodhorse.com. It would make a great feature for the regular BH website, and/or the blog!

06 Feb 2013 1:57 PM
Debbiek

hi Esther, I so love your blogs!!  They always bring a smile to my face. :)  In this world where so many horses (and other animals) are neglected and abused, it is nice to hear about owners that do the right thing.  These horses give their all on the race track and then so many are simply discarded.  Thank you for bringing us these stories.  My hope is that somewhere out there there is an owner that, after reading your blog, decides that the horse that he finds no longer useful has a different ending to his story than the one that was originally planned.  Keep up the great work!!

06 Feb 2013 7:09 PM
Alicia McQuilkin

Thanks so much for the calendar!!! I actually just hung it in my office this morning...it feels a little more "me" now!

It's so fantastic that Krajewski is up front about where every dollar from Metro's paintings is going, and it's going to the horses! I respect that immensely. Too many non-profits aren't so transparent and it's great to see someone helping his horse and other retirees also.

08 Feb 2013 1:40 PM
Terri Drennen

What a LOVELY story!! I applaud the owners for not giving up on Metro, and for putting a paintbrush in his mouth! That blue painting is better than I've seen alot of human painters do. I love to collect art pieces, but I've not had one from a horse, and would be happy to have one of his. The fact that they are helping out other horses with this is outstanding and we need more people like this. Going to check out his video and FB now! You go Metro! What a good boy!

11 Feb 2013 6:23 PM
PomDeTerre

after a long day of worrying- like everyone else- about Rachel, and a long week of assisting in trying to save a broodmare frpm a trip to canada, this story was a delight and made me smile.  thank you!

15 Feb 2013 7:02 AM
Brown brother

I love all these ottb stories. Keep em coming.

19 Feb 2013 6:49 PM
sara davis

I have a Metro Mini and love it! Proud to be supporting other OTTBs as well as hopefully helping Metro's knees.

28 Feb 2013 8:17 PM
Lise from Maine

Hi!

Metro is so cute that I just love watching him paint.

He is fortunate to have found such a loving home.

Thank God for that.

I plan on purchasing one of his paintings.

God love you, Metro.

Lots of love to you.

Lise from Maine

02 Mar 2013 9:02 PM
Donna M

Best story about a horse I have read in a while!  MADE MY DAY!!  Heartwarming..  thank you

03 Apr 2013 3:22 PM

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