“I just needed a reason to get up in the morning.”
That was Welsh bartender Jan Vokes explaining her ambition to own a racehorse in Dream Horse, based on real events and our next Shuswap Film Society movie.
Working her second job at the pub in her depressed village, Jan (Toni Collette) hears a customer regaling friends about his experiences as a member of a syndicate of racehorse owners and the fortunes to be won. That planted a seed that Jan saw as an escape from her and her town’s humdrum existence.
The determined Jan finds a mare and makes a proposal to her fellow townspeople: chip in, we’ll breed her and you get an equal share in the foal. At first skeptical, folks gradually get on board and the foal is named Dream Alliance to reflect their cooperative ownership.
The horse has a far less pampered upbringing than most champion racehorses, but the group raises enough money to hire a respected trainer and Dream Alliance’s racing career is off! The film recounts the highs and lows of the journey as a working class horse goes up against the best in the racing world, and “Dream” becomes a rallying point for the town as they huddle around TV’s to watch his races.
“Nags to riches” is the headline for the movie and Dream Horse is the ultimate feel-good underdog story about an unlikely champion and a group of scrappy, salt-of-the-earth townsfolk. It’s easy to root for a true story that started as a conversation in a bar and grew into something wonderful.
Dream Horse plays at the Salmar Classic on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m.
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