10/09/2005 11:00PM

Richard Stone Reeves dies

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Richard Stone Reeves, a revered sporting artist whose equine portraits have long been prized in the Thoroughbred world, died Friday at age 85 on Long Island, N.Y.

Reeves's death was first reported by bloodhorse.com, whose parent company published the painter's most recent book, a collaboration with author Ed Bowen called "Belmont Park: A Century of Champions."

Reeves, a New York City native, spent his childhood close to Belmont Park in the Long Island town of Garden City. His mother's family raised and raced Standardbreds, and his father's ancestors included the early American portrait artist Thomas Sully.

Reeves gained his first national attention when Life magazine selected his depiction of the 1947 Horse of the Year, Armed, for its cover. Reeves went on to paint champions and noteworthy horses in North America and Europe, his work including a commission from the Aga Khan to paint all of his champions since Shergar and a painting that then-President Ronald Reagan presented to Queen Elizabeth II in 1982. Reeves's work is prominently displayed in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Reeves is survived by his wife, Martha; a son, Richard Stone Reeves Jr.; a daughter, Nina Stone Reeves; and a brother, Robert Reeves.