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Len Jagoda’s career as an artist could have begun forty years earlier, but his scholarship to the Cleveland Institute of Art was superseded by a “scholarship” to the U.S. Army. The two-year draft requirement extended into a seven-year career that included two tours in Vietnam and ended with the rank of captain. In college on the GI Bill and then spending thirty plus years in a suit did not prevent him from being involved in many aspects of the equine world including riding hunter jumpers, breeding, training, and racing. While all dog people may not love horses, all horse people love dogs (and cats). Over the years, together with his wife Delores, 39 dogs, four cats, a goat and a llama have been rescued and adopted.


Eventually stress and heavy travel led to health concerns and with his wife’s encouragement he abandoned the business world to become what he always wanted to be, an artist. He started his art career by limiting himself to sculpture and drawing to build a foundation to try to compensate for a lack of formal training. Once satisfied with this “foundation” he moved on to pastels and then oils. His familiarity with animals (especially horses and dogs) combined with his discipline was richly rewarded. Len is the recipient of 72 awards at the national, regional, and state levels including nine Best of Show and sixteen First Place Awards. Among his many portraits of Champion racehorses are triple crown winner American Pharoah, Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, and two-time Breeder’s Cup Classic winner Tiznow. Each of his bronze sculptures of dogs and several canine pastels have received awards at the state, regional and national levels including Best of Show awards. 


His works have been accepted to many exhibitions including the International Exhibition on Animals in Art and four times to the Grand National Exhibition in New York. He holds Fellow member status with the American Artists Professional League (NY), America’s oldest professional artist organization, and Juried member status with the American Academy of Equine Art (KY). 


His works can be found on display at prestigious stud farms in Lexington and in the homes of jockeys, trainers, and owners of racehorses in the US, England, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia; and have appeared on the covers of the Chronical of the Horse twice and the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Len Jagoda


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