Azul Leon with Blue Paint on his Whiskers!Saturday morning, two-year-old Azul Leon was led out into the sunshine at Doug O'Neill's Hollywood Park barn to try his "hand" at fine art. Helping him with his painting was Sharla Sanders, "Artistic" Director and Fundraising Volunteer for Equine Expressions for CERF (California Equine Retirement Foundation). Equine Expressions' mission is to create artwork by renowned Thoroughbreds to raise funds to care for retired racehorses.
Equine Expressions was developed by CERF after Re-Run (who create the "Moneighs") and CERF agreed to "split" the U.S. and focus on their respective coasts. According to Sanders, many of California's leading trainers have been very supportive of the project, including O'Neill, Mike Mitchell, Dan Hendricks, Brian Koriner, and Richard Mandella. 100% of the proceeds go to the care and feeding of retired racehorses at CERF.
Paintings start at $300 and go up, depending on the horse. Top sellers have been paintings by Lava Man ($1,200) and The Tin Man ($1,500).
Sanders is herself a licensed owner, who began volunteering with CERF in 2004 when she took on the sponsorship of a horse. She later became involved with the annual charity golf tournaments, and started painting with horses in 2007.
"I will paint with current and ex-racers, stallions at breeding farms, geldings, and someone's backyard racehorse," Sanders said. "If it's a horse, I will paint with it!" Rest assured that the horses are using non-toxic, water based paints.
Sharla Sanders can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the video!