Description

    Richard Stone Reeves (American, 1919-2005)
    Claiborne Farm, Kentucky, 1955
    Oil on canvas
    14 x 18 inches (35.6 x 45.7 cm)
    Signed lower right: Richard Stone Reeves
    Titled lower left: Claiborne
    Signed, dated, titled, and inscribed verso: Round Table and Bold Ruler / as Yearlings 1955 / Claiborne Farm, KY

    Picturesque Clairborne Farm outside of Paris, Kentucky, remains to this day the premiere breeding, racing, and sales establishment for Thoroughbred horses. Founded in 1910 by Arthur B. Hancock of Ellerslie Farm in Virginia, and still run by his family, Claiborne Farm ensured lasting success by importing European breeding stock. The best of the best have graced the pastures of Claiborne, including sires Sir Gallahad III, Nasrullah, and Princequillo; 1923 Preakness Stakes winner, Vigil; 1973 Triple Crown winner, Secretariat; and 2013 Kentucky Derby winner, Orb. Under Seth Hancock, grandson of Arthur and son of the incomparable "Bull" Hancock, the farm twice received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder, in 1979 and 1984.

    Two of Claiborne Farm's greatest stallions were Round Table and Bold Ruler, both foaled on the very same night, April 6, 1954, and both winners of American-Horse-of-the-Year accolades. Between 1956-57, Round Table won the Breeders' Futurity Stakes and the Blue Grass Stakes, both at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky, and eleven consecutive races in California, making him the top money producer of 1957; however, his greatest accomplishments occurred over the following two years: he was the first horse to win the Strub Series (Malibu Stakes, San Fernando Stakes, and Santa Anita Maturity), garnering him the title 1958 Horse of the Year, and he won nine of fourteen races in 1959, resulting in the equally prestigious title Champion Turf Horse. Round Table's legacy extended beyond his huge earnings (nearly $1,750,000) to his role as a leading sire at Claiborne Farm. Living here to the ripe old age of thirty-three, he sired eighty-three stakes winners, a feat prompting a visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1984.

    Bold Ruler's legendary career followed much the same path as Round Table's. Sired by Nasrullah and out of the lively Miss Disco, Bold Ruler shone as a three-year-old, winning the 1957 Flamingo and Preakness Stakes, which gained him three impressive titles: Horse of the Year, U.S. Three-Year-Old Champion Male, and Champion Sprinter. Retiring to Claiborne Farm at age four, Bold Ruler was voted the Leading Sire in North America for seven consecutive years (1963-69) and again in 1973. Among his sires, eleven were major champions, including Bold Bidder, Lamb Chop, Queen Empress, Bold Lad, and Hall of Famers Gamely and Secretariat. Bold Ruler was the grandsire of champion Foolish Pleasure and Hall of Fame fillies Ruffian and Bold 'n Determined, as well as the great-grandsire of Triple Crown victor Seattle Slew. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame inducted him into its ranks in 1973, two years after his death from cancer.

    In Claiborne Farm, Reeves depicts Round Table (far left) and Bold Ruler (left of center) as hearty yearlings in verdant pastureland in front of the original stately farmhouse.





    Condition Report*:

    Unlined canvas; work remains in excellent condition; under UV exam, there appears to be no previous restoration. Framed Dimensions 21 X 24.75 Inches

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    16th Monday
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