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Metro Meteor Horse that Paints
The Evening Sun | Metro Meteor works on an abstract painting with owner Ron Krajewski. Metro Meteor, a retired racehorse, learned how to paint when Krajewski, an artist himself, taught him how to hold a paintbrush in his mouth.

By Jennifer Wentz

Two years have passed since Dot Morgan opened an email from a Gettysburg artists saying he wanted to donate proceeds from painting he sold to her racehorse rescue, New Vocations.

But the artist didn't paint those pieces. His horse did.

"I was like, 'Well, this is interesting,'" Morgan recalled with a laugh.

Two years, countless media appearances and more than $63,000 in donated funds later, Morgan said that email was a godsend.

Metro Meteor the Painting Horse

Retired racehorse Metro Meteor has created dozens of one-of-a-kind abstract pieces since his owner, Ron Krajewski, first taught him to hold a paintbrush in his mouth. The horse has racked up more than $120,000 in sales from his paintings, has a line of horse-related supplies in the works and his own limited-edition wine — Metrose — at the Adams County Winery.

Painting isn't just a hobby for Metro Meteor — it probably saved his life.

Metro Meteor's painting career started about two years ago, not long after Gettysburg residents Ron and Wendy Krajewski adopted him off the Penn National racetrack.

The first-time horse owners couldn't have picked a more difficult animal to start on. Metro had a huge, stubborn personality and, the Krajewskis soon learned, congenital knee problems that had grown worse over the course of his racing career.

Before long, they could not ride him at all, and their vet gave them the worst news possible: within the next couple years, Metro's knees would lock up completely. He would just lie down and never get back up.

That's when they took off Metro's saddle and gave him a paintbrush.

Ron Krajewski already had a successful art career of his own, painting race cars and pet portraits in his Gettysburg home. When he was looking for ways to spend time with the unrideable horse, and he noticed Metro's tendency to bob his head out of boredom, he wondered what would happen if he taught Metro to hold a paintbrush.

Using Metro's favorite treats, including Twizzlers, he coaxed the strong-willed thoroughbred into touching brush to canvas. Before long, they were selling their abstract art online and at Gettysburg's Gallery 30.

"He's got his own successful career. I'm just riding on his coattails," Krajewski said.

Metro Meteor the Painting Horse

Half of the proceeds from his paintings, as well as a portion of the sales of his other products, goes to New Vocations, a group that takes in about 400 retired racehorses each year and adopts them to willing families, said Dot Morgan, the nonprofit's executive director.

Metro Meteor the Painting Horse

Metro even has a few stalls named after him at the charity's Hummelstown stable, which can take in horses that need extensive medical care thanks to Metro's donations.

As for the rest of the proceeds from Metro's art, they go toward Metro's medical care. Kim Brokaw of Walkersville Veterinary Clinic in Maryland developed an experimental treatment for the bone growth in Metro's knees, which has helped make him rideable again.

That means Metro can continue painting and help rescue other racehorses for years to come. It's also good news for his owners, who can look forward to more time with their equine artist.

"Painting with him is one of the biggest thrills in my life," Krajewski said.

There are more interesting stories in our section on Recreation & Lifestyle.

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