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Former race horse turns successful painter - abc27 WHTM

Adams County

Former race horse turns successful painter

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GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

If you step inside Gallery 30 in Gettysburg, you will notice walls filled with original art.  A few of the paintings might stand out a bit from the others, however.

Peggy Rock, director of Gallery 30, said colorful abstract works by a local artist are flying off the shelves.

"They have been so popular that we sold 10 of them in December, which is by far the best selling artist that we had during the month of December," Rock said.

The artist creates his pieces just a few miles away across the Maryland state line. It seems an appropriate country setting to inspire an artist, but what may seem a bit unique is that the artist is a thoroughbred horse named Metro Meteor.

The paintings and the artist are getting lots of attention, but this isn't the first time the spotlight has been focused on Metro Meteor. He was a successful race horse, winning more than $300,000 in the New York Circuit and competing in many high stakes races including the Belmont.

His career was cut short by ailing knees, leaving him to face the harsh realities many injured race horses encounter; realities that Ron Krawjewski knew too well.

"If he would have kept racing, he would have broken down on the track and been euthanized," Krawjewski said.

Instead, Krawjewski and his wife Wendy envisioned a different type of retirement for Metro and adopted him.

Metro's knees have gotten worse and he is in too much pain to ride, but the Krawjewski's didn't want him to live the rest of his days alone in a pasture or stall. Ron, an artist himself, said he noticed Metro nervously bobbing his head up and down, and was inspired.

"I was like, boy if I could get him to hold a paint brush," he recalled.

So, he gave it a try, and before he knew it the horse started to enjoy the process.

"He always wants to do it," Krawjewski said. "I pick the colors, I hand him the brush, and he takes it from there."

Metro, who was known in his racing days for coming from behind and winning, continues to do just that.

"Metro is taking a bad thing with his knees and doing a good thing by helping other horses," Krawjewski said.

Krawjewski and his wife are donating 50 percent of the proceeds from the paintings to New Vocations, an organization that helps injured or retired race horses rehab and find loving homes.

It's a sentiment that is inspiring others. Rock said at Gallery 30, they are donating 10 percent of their proceeds to the Adams County Humane Society to help local horses.

The paintings can be purchased at Gallery 30, on Route 30 in downtown Gettysburg, or at the website PaintedByMetro.com.

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