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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
regarding how Bronzes are cast and profiles of the various bronze artists
can be found at the following links.