If you're looking for a unique gift for that horse-lover on your list this year, why not get something that helps you give back while gifting forward?
Started by ReRun founders Lori Nagle and Shon Wylie in 2002 to raise money for their aftercare organization, the Moneigh portrait collection has become one of the most recognizable and creative fundraising ideas for the Thoroughbred industry and a go-to source of collectibles for avid fans of racing.
Now in its 13th year, the Moneigh program is bi-coastal, spearheaded by ReRun on the East Coast and After the Finish Line in California. Volunteers and supporters from both organizations have partnered with owners and trainers of some of the biggest names in racing to create one-of-a-kind works of art painted by the celebrities themselves – the horses.
Once again and just in time for the holiday season, the newest round of Moneighs have been unveiled and are available for purchase in the ReRun Shop on Ebay.
“In the beginning of this year I contacted Lisa Molloy at ReRun,” said Dawn Mellon, founder of After the Finish Line. “I told her, 'You don't have any volunteers that paint Moneighs with our wonderful West Coast horses. We can partner and I will paint with the horses in California that are currently racing and those on the breeding farms.'”
That new partnership has resulted in several notable portraits, including those created by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome.
More than 200 original works of art have been created for the Moneigh collection over the years, with originals bringing hundreds, if not thousands, at auction. Prints of the portraits are sold on eBay to raise money to support the care and rehabilitation of retired racehorses through ReRun and After the Finish Line. This year alone, the Moneigh series has raised more than $52,000.
“Moneighs have always been a unique and easily identifiable characteristic of the ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption program and provides us with the resources needed to assist horses that are accepted into the program with no other means of financial support,' said ReRun Executive Director Lisa Molloy. “When called upon when a horse is in need, we have the funding generated by some of racing's all-time greats to provide for those that have not been so fortunate on their way to retirement.”
To create the Moneighs, volunteers from ReRun and After the Finish Line request permission from the connections of notable horses to schedule a time for the horse, with the help of his or her handlers, to paint their original masterpiece. Watercolor paint is used, often in the colors of the horse's or farm's silks. Horses “paint” the Moneighs with their noses or by holding a paint brush in their teeth, and a stamp of their hoof is also incorporated.
The original Moneighs also include a lock of the horse's hair and are often signed by the horse's connections.
“We are grateful to all the trainers and owners who have been extremely supportive of our efforts to paint Moneighs with their horses to raise money for the OTTBs,” said Dawn. “It's such a joy to paint with these magnificent racehorses. Being with them in their barn allows me to see their personality that the fans don't always see in the paddock or on the racetrack.”
ReRun also offers other items featuring Moneigh artwork, including packaged note cards, which are also available in its eBay store. Moneigh print orders can still be submitted now to arrive before Christmas.
“Our latest holiday auction is a testament to the support of the farms and trainers that made their horses available to us,” added Lisa. “This gesture is their way of giving back – one action benefitting many.”
To shop the Moneigh offerings available in time for Christmas delivery, go to http://stores.ebay.com/The-ReRun-Shop.
Recently relocated to upstate New York, ReRun is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that takes in and retrains retired racehorses and adopts them out to approved homes across the country for use as show horses, field hunters, police mounts, polo ponies and more. Lear more about ReRun at www.rerunottb.com.
After the Finish Line
After the Finish Line is a 501 (c) 3 funding non-profit dedicated to the welfare of horses that can no longer race or breed. Based in Toluca Lake, California, the organization awards Monthly Emergency Funds to qualified rescue organizations across the United States. Learn more at, www.afterthefinishline.org.
Jen Roytz is a marketing, publicity and comprehensive communications specialist based in Lexington, Ky. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, her professional focus lies in the fields of Thoroughbred racing, health care, corporate and non-profit marketing. She holds board affiliations with the Make a Wish Foundation, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Retired Racehorse Project, among others, and she is the go-to food source for two dogs and one off-track Thoroughbred.
Email Jen your story ideas at [email protected] or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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