A popular North Bay icon will return to its usual spot on Monday, as the Burnin’ Bovine statue is once again secured atop the Sonoma Raceway marquee sign on Highway 37.
The five-foot tall, 300-pound racing-themed cow statue, complete with race-car headers, a helmet and goggles, has graced the raceway’s sign since 2004. The cow, nicknamed the Burnin’ Bovine, was taken down last fall for a facelift and some fresh paint, but will return to her perch atop the highly-visible highway sign on Monday.
“We originally put her up as something of a lark, but she quickly became a local icon and we’ve had a flood of calls ever since we brought her down for her spa treatment,” said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president & general manager. “But now she’s tanned, rested and ready to reassume her perch.”
The cow was originally created by local artist Eric Reyes for the COWS! in Sonoma fundraiser, for which Sonoma Valley businesses decorated white fiberglass cows to represent their business and displayed them for a year. The cows were then put up for auction, with proceeds benefitting an arts-related charity of the business’ choice. The Burnin’ Bovine was purchased by a local charity supporter, who has allowed the raceway to keep the cow for the last several years.
Reyes, a talented graphic designer and custom painter, spent more than 50 hours refreshing the cow. The project included a warm ivory base coat and bright flames fading from yellow to tangelo pearl, as well as a custom-painted face.
“I’m excited to be part of such a highly-visible and fun project,” said Reyes, a Petaluma resident whose business is based in the raceway’s Motorsports Industrial Park. “It was great creating the Burnin’ Bovine and now she’s as refreshed as if she’d visited a Sonoma spa.”
In addition to the original Burnin’ Bovine, the raceway has also created a mobile replica cow that will be used as a promotional asset at on- and off-site events, as well as third replica that will be delivered to the original buyer.