Monday, June 28, 2010
"Put On A Show" - June 26, 2010 Fan Hanover Stakes from Thomas Allen Pauly on Vimeo.
One of the top honors that an equine artist could receive is a commission by the owner to portray their fine champion. Unfortunately, this usually happens after the horse is retired and one does not get to experience their subject's racing career. Owner Craig Henderson loves horse racing and he loves to share racing with his friends...On the 32nd anniversary of my introduction to the sport, I was commissioned by Craig to portray Put on a Show. She is a very talented 3 year old champion filly by Rocknroll Hanover, she's a millionaire and happens to be a harness horse. Although it has been years since I painted a Standardbred, my heart and roots are in harness racing.
We arrive at Chicago Executive Airport at 2:30 pm and we take off at 2:39pm. No security, no x-ray machines, no shoe removal and you could bring on bottle water. Wow! This is the only way to fly...We arrive 52 minutes later in Hamilton, Canada and limo to the track. Weather is perfect. Mohawk Racetrack looks great and is packed (compliments of casino gambling). We have tables reserved on the terrace overlooking the finish line. Drinks and fine food were abundant. The host was beaming.
It was like going back 32 years, clicking hundreds of pictures of the breed that started me on this journey. Talking with Hall of Fame driver Dave Magee, who has 3 of my paintings, including my very first harness driver portrait (see image). Meeting driving legend John Campbell and reminiscence about his portrait that his wife commissioned me to paint 22 years ago. Experiencing the paddock again, forgetting that numerous races are harnessed here at once. The barn was filled with much energy, excitement and anticipation.
10:30pm: the car takes us back to our jet. I am home by midnight.
WOW!!! One of the greatest experiences I have ever had in horse racing. Thank you Craig for "Putting On A Great Show" and returning me to my roots.