CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF AN AMERICAN ICON
LIMITED EDITION SEABISCUIT SCULPTURES UNVEILED
Willits, CA, May 24, 2008 – Col. Michael C. Howard, U.S.M.C. (ret.), great-grandson of Seabiscuit’s owner, Charles S. Howard, proudly announces the release of two specially commissioned, limited edition bronze sculptures of Seabiscuit. All proceeds from the sale of these sculptures, titled “Final Victory” and “Morning Workout,” will be divided between two charitable causes dear to the heart of Seabiscuit’s owner and the Howard family: The Frank R. Howard Foundation, which is funding the building of a state-of-the-art teaching hospital in Willits, California, and the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of Seabiscuit’s home, Ridgewood Ranch.
In November of 2007, artisans Kim Company and Stan Watts of Atlas Bronze, Salt Lake City, Utah, were commissioned by the Howard family to craft two unique, historical bronze statues of Seabiscuit, one showing him with jockey Red Pollard, the other showing him with jockey George “The Iceman” Woolf. The statues are based on two photographs selected from personal Howard family archives. One statue, “Morning Workout,” modeled after a photograph that was a particular favorite of Charles Howard’s wife Marcela, shows the Biscuit with George Woolf up during a workout at Del Mar just prior to his famous match race on August 12, 1938 against Ligaroti. This race was part of the buildup to the greatest match race of all time, in which Seabiscuit met War Admiral on November 1, 1938. The other statue, titled “Final Victory,” shows Seabiscuit and Red Pollard winning the Santa Anita Handicap on March 2, 1940.
As is clearly evidenced by the original Howard family photographs, both bronzes accurately and beautifully reflect the grace and power of Seabiscuit and the character of the men who rode him. Both author Laura Hillenbrand and Col. Michael Howard U.S.M.C. (ret.) have worked closely with the artists to make sure the sculptures accurately reflect the spirit of Seabiscuit and the men who shared his spectacular victories.
Perhaps there is no one who better understands the unique connection between Seabiscuit and our American heritage than the author of Seabiscuit, An American Legend. “Laura Hillenbrand’s skill in crafting such a great read reflects her understanding that Seabiscuit wasn’t just a horse story, but a very human story exemplifying team work, dedication, and sacrifice for something important.” said Col. Howard. Laura writes that her fascination with Seabiscuit began with a photograph, one that she saw as a young girl. “Hidden near the back of an old book, it showed the horse at the supreme moment of his life, making a desperate dive between two much larger rivals in the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap. Taken from ground level an instant before the horses flew over the camera, the photograph captured the beautiful immensity of Thoroughbreds, the dizzying speed and danger of racing, and the courage of Seabiscuit.” What Laura found most captivating was the jockey on Seabiscuit’s back, Red Pollard. “He had a face full of stories, with skin as rough as walnut bark and an expression that was at once rattled and resolute.”
“Final Victory” captures just such a moment, with all of its immediacy and drama. “Morning Workout” shows a side of Seabiscuit that means the most to the retired Marine Colonel, depicting Seabiscuit in a quiet moment, relaxed, confident and on top of his game, with George Woolf “The Iceman” up.
“It is good to know Laura has thoroughly reviewed the photographs and heartily approves of the portrayals of ‘The Iceman’ and Red Pollard. Hopefully the purchasing and collecting public who loves the Biscuit legend will agree as this will help two wonderful causes.” adds Col. Howard. “All the proceeds from the sales of these statues go directly where my Great-Grandparents would have wanted them to go: the [Frank R. Howard] hospital and Seabiscuit Heritage foundations. The story of Seabiscuit is our story, your story as we serve and exercise good stewardship in supporting this important work.” Perhaps Teddy Roosevelt said it best when he stated: “The measure of our worth is the service we render.”
Information on purchasing the statues can be found at www.seabiscuitheritage.org.
Long live Seabiscuit.
Proceeds from the sale of these statues go directly toward the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation (Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.) dedicated to preserving historic Ridgewood Ranch which constitutes Seabiscuit’s legacy and Frank R. Howard Foundation (Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.) Howard foundation is currently raising funds to build a new state of the art teaching hospital facility. Howard hospital was originally created by Charles S. Howard in 1928 in memory of his son Frank Howard in Willits, California.
Still a working ranch, Ridgewood has been designated one of America’s most threatened historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation is now working with the current owners, the National Trust, and others to develop an overall preservation and resource management plan and identify funding sources.
The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization formed to promote the cultural legacy of the Ridgewood Ranch through historic preservation, environmental conservation and public education. To make a contribution or for further information, contact the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation @Ridgewood Ranch, 16200 North Hwy. 101, Willits, CA 95490 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the foundation website www.seabiscuitheritage.org.