Vintage Thoroughbred – Standard Bred Bronzes
Thoroughbred Racing Associations Bronzes
In the late 1970s, the TRA (Thoroughbred Racing Associations) bestowed upon Champions Gallery a license to create and market equine related artwork through their TRAC (Thoroughbred Racing Associations Communications) branch. The purpose of this endeavor was to give tribute to the great horses of the times through the arts.
Champions Gallery had already created a group of coins to honor the Great Champions of the Turf, which were endorsed by the TRA. These coins were of Man o” War, Secretariat, Citation, Forego, Kelso and Ruffian. They were cast in Gold, Silver and Bronze and the numismatist for the project was Bev Lopez. Mr. Lopez also created a very limited edition, with a couple of artist’s proofs, of Large Painted Bronzes of Secretariat and Forego, a very few of which were done with a traditional patina finish.
Champions Gallery was also authorizing and creating limited editions of artwork in the form of lithographs and created a Race of the Year Serigraph of Affrimed beating Spectacular Bid in the 1979 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
In addition, Champions Gallery was marketing photographs, painting, and prints of horses and other memorabilia and collectibles to the racing public. They also represented the work of many equine photographers, sculptors and painters.
The Horse of the Year Bronze Edition began with Affirmed (standing position) cast in 1979, Marilyn Newmark, artist; Affirmed (in action) cast in 1980, Marilyn Newmark, artist; Spectacular Bid (walking) cast in 1981, June Harrah, artist; John Henry (standing) cast in 1982, Marcel Jovine, artist; Conquistador Cielo (in action) cast in 1983 Marcel Jovine, artist; and All Along (in action) cast in 1983 Cindy Wolfe, artist. Models of each bronze had to be approved by the owners of the Horse of the Year to insure that an authentic image of their champion was being produced.
In the further interest of racing preservation, and as the Official License of TRAC, Champions Gallery produced as series of 36 video tapes that was the first sport magazine on video tape registered with the Library of Congress. These tapes included the 30 top races run in North America each month and a variety of interviews done as Online with Bob Fox and historic races of past great racehorses. This magazine later led to the formation of the ESPN television show Racing Across America of which Bob Fox was CO-host and CO-producer.
In the age of the Internet, one of the original partners of Champions Gallery, Robert S. Fox, has continued the tradition of Champions Gallery in conjunction with his brother Peter Fox.