Day At The Track

Racing Museum to Auction rare painting

03:02 AM 08 Jun 2017 NZST
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Maggie Counsel
Maggie Counsel
An oil painting by the most prominent equine artist of the 20th century, Richard Stone Reeves, will be auctioned off on Hall of Fame Night, July 2, at the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, New York.

Reeves' neo-Romantic style paintings were commissioned by such patrons as Queen Elizabeth, Paul Mellon and the Aga Khan. His works in oil reside primarily in private hands and rarely leave the families that owned the horses in his paintings. While Reeves declined to publicly disclose his fees before he died in 2005, a 1997 report by Town & Country magazine cited a starting point of $25,000.

While Reeves painted primarily Thoroughbreds, he painted many Standardbreds as well, including the important pacing sire Adios, owned by Delvin Miller, later by Miller and Hanover Shoe Farms. In 1960 Miller's farm manager Harry Harvey and his wife Cornelia commissioned Reeves to paint future Hall of Fame Immortal broodmare (1974) Maggie Counsel as a Christmas gift for Delvin and Mary Lib Miller.

Maggie Counsel, a foal of 1945 and last owned by Hanover Shoe Farms, was the dam of six in 2:00 or better, an astonishing feat for that era. Her bloodline can be seen in the current era in sons and daughters of Napa Valley, Silk Stockings, May Wine and Temujin.

This Richard Stone Reeves painting of Maggie Counsel hung in the home of Delvin and Mary Lib Miller until about 2006, when Mrs. Miller returned it to the Harveys before her death in 2009. Harry Harvey died in July 2016, and his family offers it at auction today to benefit his estate with a generous commission to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame.

Those who would like to bid but cannot attend the event on July 2 can do so by contacting Museum Director Janet Terhune for possible arrangements.


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