Now playing in select theaters is the feel good documentary “Dark Horse” from Sony Pictures Classics. It’s the true story of an impossible dream that brings a small Welsh community together centered around a horse from writer/director Louise Osmond.
Horse breeding and racing has long been toted as the Sport-Of-Kings as the money required to break into the “club” has long been achieved only by those who themselves have pedigrees. So when a barmaid named Jan Vokes from a tiny Welsh village gets it into her head that she wants to breed a race horse, a lot of eye rolling and shaking of heads commenced.
The idea that a barmaid could purchase a mare, select the sire (and afford it), and produce a horse of such caliber that it could possibly compete with other horses that have been cultivated from 100’s of years of experience and pedigrees is quite frankly unfathomable; Yet somehow it happened.
Set amidst picturesque back drops of startling green scenery and gorgeous farms is the setting of a small mining village where opportunities are far and few. It’s a place where everyone knows your name, and mostly likely your business. This is where the “Syndicate” began; a group of 30 pub drinkers who committed ten pounds a week to the idea that they could somehow breed and train a horse capable of competing in the horse racing world. The story takes us from the beginning of the idea, through the birth, the training, the injuries and the victories. It’s a heart-warming story of how people can come together to achieve the impossible and their horse, Dream Alliance, making it all the way to the Welsh Grand National in 2009 and the Grand National in 2010. It’s simply a beautiful story or people, dreams, and a community forever changed by a horse and his will to win.
“Dark Horse” is the kind of documentary that someone in Hollywood is probably salivating over to turn into a drama. The idea that the common/everyday working class group of people could somehow enter the world where Kings and Queens, Sheikhs, and titans of industry play and compete is just to good to pass up. This truly is the story of where a “dream becomes a legend.” There’s a lot to appreciate and even learn from this story. Perfect film for the family when you want to escape the Hollywood machine of comic book super heroes and witness real life people coming together behind and idea and achieving it.
PG,1 hr. 25 min.
Directed By: Louise Osmond
In Theaters: May 6, 2016 Limited
Sony Pictures Classics