Metro is a seasoned veteran in front of the cameras now. Many a camera crew has left the barn saying, “I swear that horse knows when the camera is on.” He never fails to give a film crew all the footage they want and more. But I had a lot of anxiety the first few times Metro was on TV. I didn’t know what to expect, or how he would react to a camera in his face, or tripods holding hot lights crowding the stall he paints in.
So a year ago when Fox TV in Baltimore wanted to come out and put Metro on their live morning show, I was a little worried. He would be painting “live”, there would be no do-overs. No editing out the bad footage. No waiting if he wasn’t in the mood. So many things could go wrong, and it would all be caught live.
It was the second day into the new year, and it was very cold at 4:30 in the morning when the news crew showed up at the barn. And they weren’t in the best off spirits having to drive out into the back woods of Maryland. They quickly set up their live truck and wanted to get some footage of Metro painting, before our first live segment. The plan was to cut to Metro painting live, every hour or half-hour, for the next 4 hours. Even though we were all a little bit grumpy that early in the morning, everything changed the minute Metro put his first stroke on canvas. There is always an audible gasp when a film crew first sees Metro paint. They know they are there to see a painting horse, but it is like they really don’t believe it until Metro starts doing his thing. Then the reporters are pulling out the cell phones and getting personal video to show their kids. To show them that they saw a painting horse. Before they head home, they always stop to get their photo taken with Metro. And on more than one occasion they have commented on this “being the funnest story they have ever covered.” You get a lot of joy seeing Metro paint in person.
The day went well, and Metro painted on cue every time we went live. But around the 4th or 5th time, Metro had had enough. His buddies were all getting turned out in the pasture and all he wanted was to be with them. He planted his feet in front of the painting stall and went “on strike”. He thought he was on his way to the pasture, and we were asking him to go into his studio and paint… again. Luckily he is a sucker for peppermints, and the sound of a peppermint being unwrapped coaxed him to his easel as the cameraman was counting down to go live. But he still let me know this was his last “take” when he used his strong head to push me into the wall, 3 feet away, while I was being interviewed live. He likes to paint, but we found that he has his limits.
You can help find homes and second careers for retired racehorses at New Vocations by purchasing Metro designed products at www.DreamGreenUSA.com.
Here’s behind the scenes video from the morning Metro painted live on Fox News.