I've been a full-time, professional equine artist since 1988, and have collectors in all 50 states, as well as Canada, Japan and parts of Europe. I still get a kick out of having Thoroughbred art buyers in Ketchikan, Alaska and a few in Hawaii!
Moreover, I'm proud to say that over the years, owners and jockeys of the winners of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and many Breeders' Cup events have commissioned me to paint their horse as an original for their home.
How I began
Just as a top stallion often passes his abilities onto progeny, I inherited a high level of art skill from my father. And, I might add, I've subsequently passed the gift to my two children, John and Christopher. The Geraghty boys, now in their 20s, are proudly serving in the United States military as Special Operators and not pursuing art as a career.
After a four-year stint in the United States Air Force, I attended art school on the GI Bill. I became classically trained in Illustration and Painting at the Maryland Institute, College of Art. I further enhanced my skill sets by taking intense professional artist workshops in the 1990s from several of the world's great wildlife artists, such as Carl Brenders and Rod Frederick.
I began to learn about racehorses at the age of 15. My first paying job was as a hotwalker on the backstretch of Laurel Race Course in my hometown of Laurel, Maryland. Hotwalkers take each horse from an exercise rider after it returns from a morning workout. They then walk the horse for 30-60 minutes at the barn to cool it down before it gets bathed and babied and put away in its stall for the day.
I was extremely fortunate to cut my teeth in the sport during the 1970s. Before the inception of the Breeders' Cup in '86, Laurel Race Course hosted several of the more important stakes races in America, notably the Laurel Futurity and the Washington, D.C. International. I stood at the rail as Laurel Race Course hosted Futurity victories by Secretariat and Spectacular Bid, as well as one of the storied duels between Affirmed and Alydar. Today, you'll find bronze statues coast to coast of the horses I saw during the '70s.
I’ve not only loved the atmosphere of the track, but also the history in which Maryland played in shaping the national horse racing industry. In 1743, the Maryland Jockey Club was established with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson among its members. Colonel Washington was a frequent guest of the MJC for races in Annapolis throughout the 1760s and 1770s. We know this because our first president kept meticulous records. An entry from his diary indicates Washington lost 1 pound, 2 shillings while betting on races in 1762.
In summation, Laurel Race Course provided all the motivation and foundation that I would need to succeed as an artist in depicting the sport. You could say Thoroughbred racing is both my hobby and occupation. I know the game inside and out and always do my best to glamorize the horse and sport in every scene.
~ Mike Geraghty
call or text me at 301. 602. 4385
email me at: MgArts31@gmail.com