An art space dedicated to horse painting
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James Phua, a young and dynamic artist who started his journey of art since childhood time. Having his first solo art exhibition at age of 19. Today he is an internationally renowned artist of Chinese horse painting. 《 Chinese: 潘瑞全,一位年轻有活力的画家。从小即展现他的艺术才华,19岁即受邀举办第一次个展。今日他已是享誉国际的水墨画马名家,》

James Phua 潘瑞全 – who has written posts on James Phua De Horse.


The great master of horse painting, Xu Beihong (1895-1953) whose total auction revenue in 2011 was USD 233,488,776, was primarily known for his Chinese ink painting of horses and was one of the first 20th Century artists to articulate the need for artistic expressions that reflect a new, modern China at the 20th Century. The horses he painted were China local horses such as ‘Ha Sha Ke Ma’, ‘He Qu Ma’, ‘Sanhe Ma’, Yili Ma’ etc.

As for me, I love to paint Thoroughbreds, Arabians and warm blood horses for competition. Here I would like to share with you my most favorite horse depicted in my artworks, Secretariat, king of horse.

Secretariat (March 30, 1970 – October 4, 1989) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse that in 1973 became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in 25 years.

Secretariat wining the Marlboro Cup in 1973

Secretariat wining the Marlboro Cup in 1973

James Phua Chinese horse painting 瑞全中国水墨画马, The Forever Hero Secretariat (永恒的英雄 西格德烈) 97 x 180cm

The Forever Hero Secretariat (永恒的英雄 西格德烈) 97 x 180cm

He set race records in all three events in the Series – the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5), the Preakness Stakes (1:53), and the Belmont Stakes (2:24) – records that still stand today. He is considered to be one of the greatest Thoroughbreds of all time. In 1999, ESPN ranked Secretariat the 35th best athlete of the 20th century, the highest ranking racehorse on the list. He ranked second behind Man o’ War in The Blood-Horse’s List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century.

Secretariat, the greatest horse of all time

Secretariat, the greatest horse of all time

Secretariat, a red (chestnut) big colt, stood approximately 16.2 hands (66 inches, 168 cm) tall, and weighed 1,175 pounds (533 kg), with a 75-inch girth, in his racing prime. He had 3 white feet .

James Phua Chinese horse painting 瑞全中国水墨画马, Second To None (王者出场 谁与争锋) 97 x 180cm

Second To None (王者出场 谁与争锋) 97 x 180cm

James Phua Chinese horse painting 瑞全中国水墨画马, Turn Round Of Century Race (世纪回首) 97 x 180cm

Turn Round Of Century Race (世纪回首) 97 x 180cm

The three most important and famous races were his Triple Crown Races in 1973.I was born in 1970 (same birth year as Secretariat). I couldn’t witness these three super races as I was only three years old in 1973. Fortunately, I could watch Secretariat’s great races through ‘You Tube’. I feel thankful to the development of information technology which actually brought me to watch him and his races ‘live’ online.

James Phua Chinese horse painting 瑞全中国水墨画马, Take The Lead, Over The Top (一马当先 超越巅峰) 96.5 x 178cm

Take The Lead, Over The Top (一马当先 超越巅峰) 96.5 x 178cm

I enjoyed watching every gait of him. Very often, Secretariat broke last but gradually moved up on the field in the backstretch, then overtook his competitors at the top of the stretch, pulling away to win the race. I know that it is impossible to go back to the 70’s, therefore I pay a careful observation on each race of Secretariat posted on You Tube. Frequently, I repay over and over again all the videos of his races. Whenever Secretariat moved forward and overtook his competitors, my soul was ‘galloping’! Each time I watch him in action, I get to know him better in despite of the images of these videos are quite blur and are not in good condition.

Secretariat begins his sensational looping rush at Preakness Stakes

Secretariat begins his sensational looping rush at Preakness Stakes

James Phua Chinese horse painting 瑞全中国水墨画马, From Brave To The Bravest (越战越勇 越冲越红) 97 x 180cm

From Brave To The Bravest (越战越勇 越冲越红) 97 x 180cm

In the Kentucky Derby, Secretariat ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were 251⁄5, 24, 234⁄5, 232⁄5, and 23. This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race. No other horse had won the Derby in less than 2 minutes before, at it would not be accomplished again until Monarchos in 2001.As Secretariat prepared for the Belmont Stakes, he appeared on the covers of three national magazines: Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated. He had become a national celebrity.

James Phua Chinese horse painting 瑞全中国水墨画马, The Unbeaten Record (盖世无双 叱咤风云) 96.5 x 178cm

The Unbeaten Record (盖世无双 叱咤风云) 96.5 x 178cm

In the stretch of the Belmont Stakes on 9th June 1973, Secretariat opened a 1/16 mile lead on the rest of the field. At the finish, he won by 31 lengths (breaking the margin-of-victory record set by Triple Crown winner Count Fleet in 1943, who won by 25 lengths), and ran the fastest 1½ miles on dirt in history, 2:24 flat, which broke the stakes record by more than two seconds. This works out to a speed of 37.5 mph for his entire performance. Secretariat’s record still stands; no other horse has ever broken 2:25 for 1½ miles on dirt!

James Phua Chinese horse painting 瑞全中国水墨画马, Over The Top (勇往直前 超越巅峰) 97 x 180.5cm

Over The Top (勇往直前 超越巅峰) 97 x 180.5cm

Oh……9th June is my birthdate, too. I feel that I am with Secretariat so close. The 9th June is a very crucial and significant date for him and me.

In the fall of 1989, Secretariat was afflicted with laminitis—a painful and often incurable hoof condition. When his condition failed to improve after a month of treatment, he was euthanized on October 4 at the age of 19. Secretariat was buried at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, given the rare honor of being buried whole (usually only the head, heart, and hooves of a winning race horse are buried, and the rest of the body is cremated).

Farewell-Secretariat Day at Aqueduct, November 6, 1973

Farewell-Secretariat Day at Aqueduct, November 6, 1973

Even though Secretariat has gone, his spirit lives in my heart forever. As an artist, I have a very strong desire to reborn his spirit through my horse paintings, the Secretariat Series.

And I call him ‘Xi Ge De Lie’. (What does this name mean? Please find out in my next article.)

 

Regards

James Phua

4th Aug 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Secretariat New Site
Secretariat new site

A special site dedicated to Secretariat, the greatest racehorse of all time.

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