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Mystery Solved: Horse Spotted in Crown Heights Was Getting Portrait Painted

The mystery of the unidentified Crown Heights horseman has been solved.

After being spotted again and again and again clopping through the neighborhood, that guy you’ve seen riding a horse down Franklin Avenue finally told the world why he does it: to get the horse’s portrait painted, of course.


This fucking guy #icanteven

A photo posted by Sonja Sholklapper (@sovietsonja) on

Yes, that’s right. The horse, named Tonka, has been a model for six oil paintings by a Williamsburg artist in recent months, according to his owner (and rider) Walter Blankinship, president of Kensington Stables, who spoke with Brokelyn this week after the blog spotted the pair riding in the bike lane last month.

The horse has to “travel back and forth” for the painting sessions, Blankinship said, but the trailer that brings him to Williamsburg isn’t available to take him back in the afternoons. So, naturally, he and Tonka take to the streets to return home.

Makes total sense!

But don’t expect to see the four-legged model in the neighborhood for a bit; Blankinship told Brokelyn that Tonka’s portrait project is on hold until mid-September.