One of the most famous and iconic racehorses I have ever seen was a beautiful New Zealand horse that crossed the Tasman to compete in the 1983 Melbourne Cup.
Appropriately named ‘Kiwi,’ he was a powerful, handsome chestnut trained by a little known dairy farmer who (legend has it) rode the horse while rounding up the cows on his farm in time for milking.
‘Kiwi’ was well fancied in the Melbourne Cup, yet written off by many as he sat tailed off, two or three lengths behind the second last runner in a twenty four horse field.
As the horses raced into the famous Flemington straight, Kiwi’s jockey steered him to the outside, where he unleashed the most extraordinary finishing burst that many had ever seen. He thundered past the entire field in what seemed like the blink of eye and hit the line with his ears pricked.
I wanted to capture the glorious colours in his rich chestnut coat, his extraordinary athleticism and something of his personality and character in my tribute.
Quite a task in constructing a single pastel artwork and I can only hope my painting does ‘Kiwi’ the justice he deserves.
Happily I managed to sell the original painting to some clients in Melbourne, who have since become very good friends while limited edition art prints of ‘Kiwi’ are available at www.pastelartprints.com.