I was a horse crazy child. Dreamed about them, drew them, wrote stories about them ...even pretended that my bike was a horse. I wanted to be a jockey when I grew up. I begged and pleaded and finally, by working weekends and summers for my dad was able to save up and buy my first horse when I was 12. (Then I had to work every weekend and through the summers to buy horse feed and pay for boarding!) She was a crazy palomino named Gold-digger. Six months after I bought her, she spooked badly, crushed my ankle and my dad made me sell her and buy another horse that was much better trained. His name was Dodger and he was my dream come true. A big, sweet, sorrel quarter horse with enough energy and spirit to keep things interesting but not dangerous. I sold him my senior year of high school and often wondered over the years what happened to him.
Growing up I always watched the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes on television. And I still watch them, especially the Derby. I make myself a nice ice cold mint julep and wonder what it would be like to be a jockey riding one of the most marvelous and fast creatures in the world.
The stirrup is one of a pair of old wooden ones that I found years ago in a barn where I used to board my horse. The bourbon, Knob Creek, is one of my favorite brands and I can't remember where I got the silver chalice but it's the one I use every year. To help get you prepared for the Derby this year, here is a link to betting tips on the race from Garden & Gun. Click Here
"bourbon and horses"
8" x 8" oil on canvas panel