Metro Meteor (2003 – 2018) was a fierce competitor at the track winning 8 turf sprints and earning $300,000. After 3 years racing and 2 knee surgeries, Metro was no longer competitive and retired. Ron and Wendy Krajewski, who owned a percentage of Metro, decided to adopt him for themselves. They would give him a safe, forever home and enjoy trail riding. At least that was the plan.
As with many plans, this best-laid one went awry. As Metro settled into his new surroundings, a boarding facility near the Krajewski’s home, it became evident that his bad knees were getting worse. Treatment offered temporary relief, but his prognosis was poor, riding was out of the question.
As the Krajewski’s spent more time with Metro they realized he was quite a character, bobbing his head for attention and grabbing things left within reach. It occurred to Ron, an avid artist, that Metro might be able to hold a brush in his mouth and perhaps even paint. That revelation changed their lives.
Artist at Work
Four years later, Metro has created hundreds of paintings and become a media sensation. Collectors around the world have been quick to snap up a Metro original. At times, the waiting list for his next painting numbered over 100. He was the top selling artist, horse or human, at a Pennsylvania art gallery.
The Krajewski’s rented a second stall converted into Metro’s painting studio. Ron, working as Meteor’s assistant, secured a canvas to the easel and dipped brushes in paint. Metro enthusiastically applied his vision holding the brush in his mouth and turning his head to form colorful strokes. The duo usually worked an hour or two several days each week.
“Metro doesn’t have any edge control,” Ron said. “His paintings are all about colors and textures. So, we’ll do a little bit one day, let it dry, and then come back and do different colors the next day, let it dry. What we do is we build it up in layers. What you’ve got is layers from several days that are peeking through these really thick, broken brush strokes that he has. It really creates an interesting texture. You’ve got colors peeking through colors, and they just kind of vibrate”.
Pay It Forward
As Metro’s paintings began to sell, the Krajewski’s established the “Metro Fund” giving half of Metro’s sales to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. New Vocations, located in Pennsylvania, works to retrain ex-racehorses and find them new homes. Transitions for thoroughbreds and saddlebreds like Payasito, Shotgun City and Fast Double G were funded by the Metro Fund’s $80,000 plus donations.
For nearly 5 years, this prolific horse has been painting and helping other OTTBs until life once again interceded. For personal reasons, the Krajewski’s are moving and unable to take Metro and his barn mate Pork Chop. The horses will live out their days with Metro’s veterinarian enjoying pasture turnout, naps in the sun and the occasional Twizzler (Metro’s favorite treat). Without Ron’s help, there will be no more paintings. Metro was officially retired on February 28th.
“We invite people to continue following Metro’s FB page, we’ll do our best to keep you updated, but he is retired. It will probably just be a bunch of photos of him eating grass,” said Ron.
Happy Retirement Metro Meteor!
Metro’s Final Painting
It was an emotional moment for Ron as Metro worked on his last painting. Ron wanted it to be personal, a portrait of Metro and Pork Chop that he and Wendy could take with them when they move. The paints he set out for Metro were deliberately chosen, representing the colors of the horses and their turnout sheets, bay and blue for Metro, chestnut and green for Pork Chop – “Brothers in Charm”.
PLAY OUR GAME – METRO VERSUS MAN
Metro is a uniquely talented horse artist but how does his art compare to the masters of abstract expressionism? Below are several paintings, can you tell which were painted by Metro? Tap the question below each painting to flip the card and see if your guess was correct. Good luck!