Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance
As people, we are always looking for inspiration. Whether to better ourselves, inspire others, or push each other that little bit further towards success, we look to inspiration to keep alive that belief. Unfortunately, for the residents of Blackwood in South Wales, inspiration wasn’t the only thing missing from their lives.
After the small village fell victim to the decline of the mining industry, solace came in an unlikely hero – a thoroughbred race horse named Dream Alliance. This poignant documentary tells the story of a village syndicate, the Alliance Partnership, who pulled together to own a racehorse that overachieved everyone’s estimations.
Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance is shot in the same way as any other documentary you will have seen. Floating heads in static locations, giving their side of the narrative, interspersed with archive and stock footage. A charming twist, however, comes in using real-life individuals to act out the moments when cameras would not have been present. Including Dream Alliance, the horse, playing himself!
Blackwood’s Alliance Partnership was the dream of Janet Vokes, a barmaid in a local working men’s club. She explains how she convinced customer Howard Davies to join her in breeding a racehorse. Howard, who had recently lost money on his own racehorse venture, took some convincing, but as Janet’s husband Brian keeps mentioning during the film, “when Janet sets her mind to something, she won’t take no for an answer.”
From these humble beginnings, Dream Alliance soon became famous within the racing community, even though at first many of the experts wrote him off. This story of a horse raised on an allotment, and gaining acclaim in a sport that residents of mining towns would only ever experience on a betting slip, highlights the class divide still in existence. The very fact a documentary has been made shows this to be a rarity – one that should definitely be celebrated.
Dark Horse has a key message: that while many have ploughed their millions into the sport of horse racing, they do not necessarily pour their hearts into the horse. It is the love from the syndicate towards the horse, and vice versa, that sets them apart from any traditional race owners. Janet Vokes, Howard Davies, and the rest of the Alliance Partnership saw Dream Alliance as part of their family, rather than part of a business. It is a humbling message.
If you are looking for inspiration, Dark Horse is sure to remind you that true success comes from dedicating yourself to something you can connect with.
Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance is released nationwide on 17th April 2015.
Watch the trailer for Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance here: