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Dark Horses

I just watched a documentary film called ‘Dark Horse’ about a jump racehorse called Dream Alliance. I don’t have the stomach for the fences myself these days, but I remembered the horse’s name and that he had a fetching back story.

The film has stirred me up alright, in the way a proper film should. The hero is a bonny chestnut, with a white blaze and proper socks. His supporting cast are his breeder, Jan, and his owners from a Welsh mining village and it is their stories that make the film.

I won’t spoil it with details – watch it if you can. It’s a deft piece of film-making. A light touch that hits a seam of gold.

It’s certainly left me wondering. One such wonder is this: is it the obstacles we overcome in life, the finish lines we cross, the glory we dream of covering ourselves in that matters? Or is it the quiet standing in the field at the end of the day, when you are almost gone, but not quite forgotten, indistinguishable from most of all the rest?

The beauty of the racehorse is that we don’t even need to ask the question. They take us places outside our experience; with a horse in our lives we can soar the heights and plumb the depths (sometimes within split seconds) but at the end of the day, there is always a field.