By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

This joyful, inspiring, and poignant sports documentary tells the story of a little horse that could and did, at least for a little while.  In South Wales, a small town bar employee decides that she wants to breed a horse intended for grooming and training for racing.  Somewhat inexperienced and lacking the necessary capital, she seeks out help from her bar patrons.  The horse, eventually dubbed the Dream Alliance, may have come from a humble background, but eventually proves itself as a contender and eventually wins The Welsh Grand National race.

Written and directed by Louise Osmond, Dark Horse may be a typical underdog story; however, it is still a highly enjoyable documentary with lovable real-life, salt of the earth characters and a gangly, but charming horse who proved his naysayers wrong.  The presentation is simple and straightforward without using any special tricks or gimmicks to tell the story.  This proves to be an appropriate reflection of the simple, no-nonsense personalities who bred and raised the Dream Alliance and cheered him on every step of the way.

The film isn’t necessarily a must-see on the big screen, but for those seeking out something totally different from the usual summer tent poles, this documentary is definitely worth watching.  Fans of sports documentaries like ESPN’s 30 For 30 series will also find much enjoyment in watching this film.  In fact, one doesn’t even have to be a fan of sports or horse racing to appreciate this exciting and moving story.  If one cannot make it to the cinema to see the film, I strongly encourage seeking out on a video format when available.


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