Selections from the 2008-09 Breakdown series

Working Artist
Prof. of Art Emerita, Hardin-Simmons University


The "Breakdown" series was provoked by two high-profile incidents of racehorses breaking one or more legs (a "breakdown"): during the 2006 Preakness (Barbaro) and the 2008 Kentucky Derby (Eight Belles). And these are only the high profile cases... Unfortunately, from research I have found that catastrophic accidents like this happen all too often in the professional horse racing business. Most of the blame has been placed on breeding for speed at the expense of soundness and the pushing of young horses too fast too soon by ambitious trainers and owners. Money talks louder than good sense or compassion for the animals.


With these artworks I was both paying tribute to the great hearts of these two animals and attempting to draw attention to abuse in the horse racing industry.

Elegy for Eight Belles 1

Elegy For Eight Belles 1, © 2008, 9"x24", encaustic on wood

Elegy for Eight Belles 2

Elegy For Eight Belles 2, © 2008, 18"x9",
encaustic on wood

Elegy for Eight Belles 7

Elegy For Eight Belles 7, © 2008, 9.25"x10", encaustic on wood

Barbaro Diptych

Barbaro Diptych, © 2008, 12"x29.5" total (2 panels),encaustic, oil on wood

Racing Gameboard

Racing Gameboard, © 2008, 24"x 24", encaustic on wood


Hoofbeats, © 2009, acrylic, oil on canvas, 46"x 14"


Equus,© 2009, 19"x 9.75", encaustic, collage