After crippling knee injuries ended his racing career, a horse named Metro Meteor faced a bleak future. He was a star on the track, winning eight races across the country and earning over $300,000, but retired racehorses don’t always move on to good second acts—especially when they’re injured. His future was uncertain, but then an artist and horse owner, Ron Krajewski, took him in.
Ron and his wife Wendy adopted Metro into the family, but they weren’t prepared for life with an injured, retired racehorse. Metro’s days of racing left him with a degenerative condition that caused painful bone growth in his knees. According to the vet, he only had a few more years to live.
There wasn’t anything Ron could do about Metro’s knees, but as an artist, he had an idea to help the horse’s spirit. Ron explained in an interview with BBC how Metro liked to bob his head up and down. He wondered whether the horse would hold a paintbrush in his mouth, and one day, he gave it a shot.
Ron brought out an easel and set up a canvas in front of the horse. He readied a brush with paint and offered it to Metro. That’s all it took. Metro took the brush between his teeth and started to paint. His paintings are abstract, but Ron has no doubt that his horse knows exactly what he’s doing.
With Ron picking the colors and loading the brush with paint, Metro has gone on to create several masterpieces. It took only about one week for his first painting to sell, and it wasn’t long before his work was in high demand. He earned both local and national attention, and everyone wanted a Metro original. It also didn’t take long to find something to do with the money.
While painting seemed to be helping Metro adjust to his retirement, it wasn’t doing anything for his knees. But then Ron learned from his vet about an experimental European drug that could help. The vet created a special treatment for Metro, but the problem was the price. If it wasn’t for Metro’s burgeoning career as an artist, Ron never would have been able to afford it. The profit from Metro’s paintings went toward his treatment, and after six months, x-rays showed the bone growth in his knees had receded.
With years added to his life and an ever-growing group of admirers, Metro’s career is now at an all-time high. His original paintings sell for about $500 each, and the hoofed painter can’t keep up with the demand. The only way to get your hands on an original painting is to join a wait list over 150 people long.
Metro’s success means he now makes enough to pay for his treatments, and he has a lot left over. Ron makes sure that 50% of Metro’s earnings go to New Vocations Race Adoption Program to give horses like him a chance at a good life after retirement.
Featured Image Source: Painted by Metro