Retired racehorse finds calling as abstract painter

Updated 05 May 2013
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Retired racehorse finds calling as abstract painter

ROCKY RIDGE, Maryland: The horse is an American icon. It races gracefully, performs heavy farm tasks, can do tricks and, if television is to be believed, may even talk. But only one is an accomplished painter. Metro Meteor, a 10-year-old thoroughbred bay in rural Maryland, is enjoying singular success. Within just months of applying his first brush stroke to paper, he is juggling requests for public appearances, weighing endorsement offers and earning thousands of dollars for his work. Slowed by bad knees, the racehorse was retired in 2009 and adopted by Ron and Wendy Krajewski. Unable to ride the crippled horse, Ron, a local artist, decided to teach the horse to paint in order to spend more time with him. Elephants are known to paint with their trunks, he reasoned, and Metro did tend to bob his head a lot while in his stall. The paintings caught on, and success ensued. Metro is now the best-selling artist at Gallery 30, a small shop in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which started selling his work four months ago. Metro’s paintings feature colorful, sweeping brushstrokes, complete with specks of sawdust — not surprising as the horse paints by swinging his head, a paintbrush clenched in his teeth. “For his large paintings, there is a waiting list of 120,” said Ron Krajewski in an interview this week.


French priest suspended after slapping baby during baptism

Video shows priest slapping crying baby.
Updated 26 min 7 sec ago
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French priest suspended after slapping baby during baptism

  • The baby’s parents, visibly shocked, eventually manage to extricate the child from the priest’s grip
  • The child was bawling and I needed to turn his head so I could pour the water

PARIS: A French Catholic priest was suspended Friday after a video of him smacking a crying baby during a baptism ceremony went viral, drawing widespread condemnation on social media.
In footage posted on Twitter on Thursday, gasps can be heard when the 89-year-old priest, after ordering the infant he is holding to “be quiet,” sharply slaps his cheek.
A few seconds later he smacks him again.
The baby’s parents, visibly shocked, eventually manage to extricate the child from the priest’s grip during the ceremony in Champeaux, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Paris.
“This loss of self-control can be attributed to the fatigue of an elderly priest, but that doesn’t excuse it,” the diocese of Meaux, which includes the town, said in a statement.
It said the priest would no longer be leading baptisms and weddings nor holding mass until further notice.
“The child was bawling and I needed to turn his head so I could pour the water. I was saying ‘be quiet’ but he wouldn’t calm down,” the priest told France Info radio on Friday.
“It was something between a caress and a little slap,” he said. “I was trying to calm him down, I didn’t really know what to do.”