Richmondville artist Diana Cook’s latest project is keeping some unusual company in Saratoga Springs this week as the 142nd season of racing gets underway at the world-famous thoroughbred track there.
Ms. Cook is one of a handful of artists asked to decorate a life-size fiberglass horse for an Equine Advocates charity auction this Thursday at the Canfield Casino.
Among those expected to attend are Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, and actress Bo Derek, both of whom are being honored by the horse rescue group.
Ms. Cook is a decorative painter who has worked for Julie Bonacio, one of the event’s organizers.
Maybe just as importantly, she’s a lifelong horsewoman who, until she moved to Richmondville, lived in Saratoga.
“I guess I have race horses in my blood,” she said in her Summit Street studio.
“When they called and asked if I’d participate, it seemed like a perfect fit.”
One year, one of the horses was covered with bottle caps; another, diamond-shaped mirrors.
Ms. Cook decorated her horse in “marble”--something she hasn’t seen done before.
The horse was shipped to her studio a few weeks ago and nearly as fragile as a real thoroughbred, it was so carefully padded and wrapped it took her two hours to unwrap.
Drivers were expected to come for the horse with—what else?--a horse trailer over the weekend and with the rest of his herd, he’ll be displayed at the Canfield Casino until the auction.
“After that, it’s up to whoever bids on him,” Ms. Cook said. “He could end up anywhere.”
For more about Ms. Cook’s work, visit her online at dcdecorativepainting.com