Metro Meteor, the famous painting horse stricken by sudden-onset blindness last week, is getting better, according to the OTTB’s owner.
Ron Krajewski announced on Facebook that Metro’s vision had improved well enough for the Thoroughbred to begin to return to his regular routine over the Christmas weekend.
Wearing eye protection googles to protect against scratches—one of his meds could cause permanent blindness if his eyes sustained damage, Metro was turned out in his fenced dirt paddock on Christmas Eve, and by Dec. 26, Krajewski reported the once-terrified, blinded Thoroughbred appeared “back to his old, happy self” that morning. That said, his vision is still compromised, and his team were scheduled to try a second time, this morning, to get him to the New Bolton clinic for an appointment with an eye specialist.
Race name: Metro Meteor
Sire: City Zip
Dam: Here Comes Nikki
Foal date: March 13, 2003
Earnings: $299,420Over the weekend, Krajewski reported: “Metro is doing good today. He can see well enough not to bump into things, but still doesn’t know what he is looking at … things that he is used to seeing everyday will now spook him. If I take him into the arena, he will walk over a series of ground poles, but will spook when he first sees them on the ground.”
Despite Metro’s lingering confusion, the pair were able to visit the painter’s studio late yesterday afternoon. He gripped a paintbrush in his teeth, and started to paint again.
“He was pretty happy to get back to painting. I don’t know how much he could see, but he knew where to stand and fell right back into the routine.”
Metro, who has been making acrylic abstract paintings for years with the tutelage of his artist owner, was stricken about two weeks ago by equine uveitis, a leading cause of blindness in horses. What started as a “squinty eye” soon spread to total blindness in both eyes.
His veterinarian Dr. Kim Brokaw, DVM, began administering antibiotics immediately, and a regimen of other treatments to protect his eyes while testing was done. After testing positive for leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that can be transmitted between species, and is commonly found in rodent droppings, his regimen of antibiotics was continued.
Prior to Christmas, the animal’s anxiety level had diminished, and it seemed vision was slowly returning to his eyes.
In an earlier interview with Off Track Thoroughbreds.com, Krajewski said his veterinarian gave him reason to hope Metro’s vision would fully return in six weeks time.
As Metro’s vision returns, cards and well wishes have flooded in, and major news outlets continue to cover the story of a remarkable ex-racehorse who learned to paint. Over the weekend, Fox 25 featured Metro in a TV report titled, Beyond the Lens: Retired Racehorse learns to paint.
Clearly thankful for the attention and well wishes, Krajewski kept fans updated throughout the long holiday weekend by posting photos, short video clips, and a link to the latest news story.
His relief was evident as he announced that Metro seemed very close to normal when the pair returned to the painting studio. And Metro took his place in front of the painter’s easel, with Krajewski standing to his left, dipping paint brushes into brightly colored paint, and handing them over to the four-legged artist and friend.