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HRN Original Blog:
Trackside with Trackman

Equines And Canines

Equines and equine art has always been a part of artist Leisa Temple’s life. Temple is a leading Canadian professional artist showcasing her versatile artistic talents, from which emerges beauty and joy in her subjects and in her life, which directly affects her ongoing approach to her art. She began drawing horses at a very young age. “I started drawing pictures of horses the first time I picked up a pencil,” she said. “Little girls and horses are a natural combination. I was continually drawing and sketching from the time I was age 5.” At age 10, she began riding horses. “I learned to ride bareback on the beach at Georgian Bay in the summers.”  Born in Toronto, Ontario, Temple graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Sheridan College.
In the 1980’s, she took her multitude of abilities and talents to South Florida, most notably, Gulfstream Park and the former Hialeah Park, to study and paint horses, bringing to life the majesty and spirit of the equine form. “I’m not interested in simply painting horses,” Leisa said. “If I don’t capture the essence of their character, I don’t feel that I have accomplished very much. Horses are different as people: they all are very distinct individuals. I’m seeking the distinctions.” She quickly developed a following that garnered major commissions from some of the top names in the thoroughbred industry. Upon returning home to Toronto, she continued her successful equine portrayals, with Woodbine Racetrack as the backdrop for her inspiration. 
With her same vision and determination, Temple began painting dogs, particularly Rhodesian Ridgebacks, which she has owned for many years. “I think the horse person in me was initially attracted to this beautiful breed,” she reflects.
Her images of these athletic canines have made her a highly sought after artist amongst that breed category. She has painted several logos for the breed’s most highly respected show, The National Specialty.
In her field of endeavor, Leisa works in oil, acrylic, watercolor and bronze.
“Each medium appeals to me because each has its own individual quality that I like to use in keeping with the individuality of each project” she explains. “My goal is to combine the technical knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with a more artistic, colorful side.”
Temple’s work has been seen in numerous exhibitions throughout Canada and the United States. Her paintings can be found in a myriad of public and private art collections throughout North America, Australia, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. 
Leisa works full-time from her studio along the Niagara River when she’s not hanging out at the track or walking her Ridgebacks. 
Her website address is: www.leisatemple.com
NOTE: The author of this post is a proud owner of a 53” H x 63” W painting done by the artist capturing Secretariat’s 31-length Belmont victory.


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Hi, my name is Nick Costa a.k.a. Trackman. As for my "nickname" of Trackman, it came about the following way: When people, either friends or family would inquire as to where I was going, my reply was always the same, "I'm going to the track man." I was born and raised in Niagara Falls, New York, about a 30 minute drive from the racetrack, in Fort Erie, Canada.  I was five years old the first time I attended the races. My father, who was a regular at the track, took me to Fort Erie. My first recollections were of just running up and down the stairs to and from our grandstand seats and the walking ring. Of course, after viewing the horses, I would run back up the stairs, and tell my father who to bet. He would look at me quizzically, and then proceed to place a $2 dollar wager on my selection for me. Through the years, with continuous trips to Fort Erie, and also to Woodbine and the now defunct Greenwood, my father would take the time to explain all the information in the Daily Racing Form. After I learned the basics of handicapping, I never met a racing Form I didn't like. If I had spent as much time on my studies as I did reading the Form, I probably could be sitting on the Supreme Court. Those early horse playing days have  lasted into my adulthood, as I still play the races today on a regular basis. But now I have added a couple of new dimensions. First, I officially became a licensed thoroughbred race horse owner back in 2000, fulfilling a dream come true. Fort Erie, where I mostly play the races and race my horses, is still my favorite track. It's my home track, where I fell in love with everything about the sport. In addition to the tracks mentioned that I visited with my father, I have graced the grounds of Churchill
Downs (Derby 134 and several Breeders' Cups), Saratoga, Mountaineer, Gulfstream Park, Sam Houston Race Track, Presque Isle, Monmouth Park and Belmont Park. Second, I started to write a few years ago when I started my own blog, called Triple Crown Chase.

The blog was established to provide some personal insight about the horses and trainers who compete against one another in the 3 yr old prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby. I preview and review the preps races and extend coverage to include the Preakness and Belmont. Last year, my blog previewed the Canadian Triple Crown races for the first time. The second leg, The Prince Of Wales Stakes, is run at my home track of Fort Erie. I am honored and thrilled to be on board with Horse Racing Nation and I want to thank everyone for their support.

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