Taking a “gallop poll”:
Who’s your favorite artist?
If you like the work of the legendary early 20th Century French Impressionist painter Claude Monet, then perhaps you might gain a positive impression from the 21st Century Moneighs as well.
Moneighs are original abstract paintings, created by neighing artists. In fact, the Moneighs have been painted by actual horses – usually quite famous racehorses, such as Funny Cide, Smarty Jones and Zenyatta.
ReRun, Inc., a Thoroughbred racehorse adoption organization (based in New Jersey and founded in 1996), will hold an equine artwork auction from April 25th through May 2nd, featuring the Moneighs. The artwork will be sold online (via the ReRun, Inc., Moneigh eBay store).
Each framed Moneigh painting features a brass plate bearing the name of the equine artist. In many instances, paintings are signed with hoof prints. Often, a lock of horse hair (from the artist’s mane or tail) is also included.
Moneigh auction proceeds will benefit retired racehorses in Kentucky, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina. The Moneigh equine art program is ReRun’s biggest annual fundraiser.
“The Moneighs are popular with [horse] racing fans, and they are critical to providing needed funds to support Thoroughbreds awaiting adoption,” said ReRun President Jane Gilbert.
So far, more than 400 original paintings have been created by equine artists in ReRun’s Moneigh art program.
How do the horses create the Moneigh paintings?
Horses use their hooves, muzzles, tails and whiskers to paint with non-toxic paints on watercolor paper.
Some horses may even hold paintbrushes in their mouths to create the artwork. Mary Simons, ReRun’s Moneigh program coordinator, assists the equines by holding the easels and paper plates filled with paints.
Frequently, Mary Simons also serves as dispenser of the horse cookies and treats (such as carrots and peppermints) to reward her creative counterparts.
What famous horses have created Moneigh paintings?
Moneigh artists have included such esteemed equines as Chapel Royal, Cigar, Da Hoss, Empire Maker (2003 Belmont Stakes winner), Evening Attire, Funny Cide (2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner), Indian Ocean, Kona Gold, Life Is Sweet, Medaglia D’Oro, Point Given (2001 Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes winner), Rags to Riches (2007 Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Oaks winner), Skip Trial, Smarty Jones (2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner), Tiznow, Western Pride, Wildcat Heir and Zenyatta.
The equine painters have included Arabian Horses, Belgian Draft Horses, Holsteiners, Miniature Horses, Percherons, Saddlebreds, Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods and other breeds of horses.
Occasionally, ReRun accepts commission assignments for Moneigh paintings by specific horses.
How much might a Moneigh horse painting cost?
Actual pricing of the original Moneigh equine artwork may vary, of course, depending upon each item’s popularity among participating bidders.
“In the past, bids have ranged from $150 for a lesser known horse up to $5,000 for a painting by [U.S Racing Hall of Famer] John Henry, autographed by jockey Chris McCarron,” recounted ReRun’s Mary Simons.
Where can art aficionados and horse lovers purchase the Moneigh paintings?
Beginning Sunday, April 25, 2010, the latest Moneigh paintings will be available on a ReRun, Inc., Moneigh eBay auction site (a top-rated eBay seller) for online bidding. Additional Moneigh paintings may already be viewed and purchased from the same site.
First-hand interviews/communications with ReRun Moneigh staffers