A TRUE STORY equine movie, A Sundance Film Festival Winner: ‘DREAM HORSE’. Watch the trailer of a Welsh Racehorse named, Dream Alliance, who beat all the odds to WIN THE 2009 WELSH NATIONAL!!

I LOVE a beautifully shot, great story, equine movie.  And here we have DREAM HORSE.   It is the true story of a Welsh race horse, bred and raised by a down and out community – who went  on to win, and win BIG  (The Welsh National in 2009).

The horse is still alive.  His name is Dream Alliance.

The movie is DREAM HORSE.  Watch the trailer here.

Dream Horse won the Sundance Film Festival won the World Cinema audience award.

Click image to watch movie.



Click here to go to the website for the movie, Dream Horse.


Dream Alliance

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Dream Alliance
Sire Bien Bien[1]
Grandsire Manila
Dam Rewbell[1]
Damsire Andy Rew
Sex Gelding
Foaled 23 March 2001
Country Great Britain
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Rewbell Syndicate[1]
Owner Alliance Partnership
Trainer Philip Hobbs
Record 30: 5–4–2
Earnings £138,646
Major wins
Welsh National (2009)

Dream Alliance (foaled 23 March 2001) is a thoroughbred racehorse, owned by the Alliance Partnership and trained by Philip Hobbs.[1]


Dream Alliance was bred by Janet Vokes, whose main experience until then had been with breeding whippets and racing pigeons.[2] While working as a barmaid at a local pub,[3] she overheard Howard Davies, a local tax adviser, discussing a racehorse he had once owned. She was inspired by the idea, and soon after she and her husband, Brian, found a mare named Rewbell who was available for £1000, due in part to a barbed wire injury[3] and a very bad temperament.[4] They ultimately bought her for £350 and named Davies as the “racing manager” of the group.[2]

They bred Rewbell to Bien Bien, a stallion in his first year at stud in the UK, and the ensuing foal was born in 2001.[3] The horse was reared on an allotment in Cefn Fforest near the town of Blackwood in south Wales, and ultimately 23 different people joined the ownership syndicate. Each member originally contributed £10 per week to help develop the young horse and keep him in race training.[2] The syndicate was organized by Davies, who estimated that it would cost £15,000 a year to keep the horse in training and determined that 30 people, each contributing £10 a week, could work.[4]

Racing career

Dream Alliance moved from the Vokes’ allotment to a stable when he was a yearling. At age three, he came to Philip Hobbs for training, after the syndicate had raised enough money to pay the training costs. On November 10, 2004, he came in fourth in his first race, third the next time, then second and finally in January 2006, won in his fourth race, hurdles at Chepstow. He then entered a slump, but began winning again in April 2007 at the Perth Gold Cup. In a 2008 preparatory race for the Grand National at the Aintree Festival, he sliced a tendon on the course, and only the quick thinking of his jockey and the urging of Davies saved him from being euthanized.[4] Treatment required a very new stem cell treatment, but ultimately he healed and was able to race again.[3] His winnings were adequate to cover the costs of his surgery and 15 months of rehabilitation. He reentered race training in July 2009.[4]

The horse won the 2009 Welsh National by three-quarters of a length, having been ridden by Tom O’Brien.[5] As a result of his humble background and the successful treatment, the horse received significant media coverage in the run-up to the 2010 Grand National.[6] The horse did not subsequently complete that race,[1] being pulled up after the seventh fence. After the Grand National, he was found to have a lung condition.[4] Though he ran in seven more races, he did not place again.[1] He was retired in 2012.[4]

Ultimately, he ran 30 races and won £138,646 in prize money.[1] After all training and veterinary expenses were paid, including his surgery costs, the 23 syndicate members each obtained a profit of £1430.[4]

As of 2015 Dream Alliance is stabled in Somerset under the care of the horse groom who worked for Hobbs and took care of him during his career.[4] In 2015, a film about the horse and the people around him, titled Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance premiered, and at the Sundance Film Festival won the World Cinema audience award.[7]



Holt, Sarah (April 10, 2015). “Love story between horse and villagers hits the big screen”. CNN. Retrieved 9 March 2016.


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UPDATE on Callie, our February Bucket Fund Horse…SHE’S 30!!

Callie, our February Bucket Fund horse is a wild lead mare of a herd in Nevada.  The humans that look after and help this herd, saw that Callie was not doing well so they brought her in to check on her as they figured it was her teeth.  Callie is very integral to the herd so her health is very important.

Well, we just found out per the equine dentist and her vets… SHE’S APPROXIMATELY 30 YEARS OLD!

You can read the original article here.

All donations are 100% tax deductible!  We are 2/3rds to our goal.  We just need $700 to reach our goal!  We can do this for Callie!

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UPDATE:  The vet was out to see her!  And she is approximately 30 years old!

We knew Callie was a very important mare… and we knew she was a matriarch… but this old gal has survived the wild for 30 years!  Amazing!

Here is the information from the vet visit per Least Resistance Training Concepts Wild Horse Mentors

We took Callie to LRTC’s Lucky Horse Rehabilitation Center where the veterinarians were able to anesthetize Callie. (Remember, she is a wild horse so we needed to move her into a squeeze so she could be safely sedated, then anesthetized.) Then the dental procedure had to be conducted with her asleep on the ground.

Dr. Gerald Peck, having spent several decades treating wild horses, estimated Callie’s age at “somewhere around 30 years old; possibly a little less, possibly older.” That is a remarkable age for a range horse that has survived completely on her own, and especially one who has had as many foals as she probably had. Her most recent known foal appeared in 2017. (Comparatively, horses age at an average of about 4 years to every human year, so this would be a rough equivalent to a 75 year-old woman still having children.)

Callie was clearly very underweight, and the expectation that warranted intervention of a range horse was that she had dental issues that impaired her ability to properly grind grass and plant fibers. Those issues in turn reduced her ability to take advantage of the nutrition provided by low-grade range plants. As expected, her teeth were found to be in very bad shape.

Horse’s teeth continue to grow throughout most of their lifetimes. The silica in grasses, minerals they ingest grazing and such, wear on the surfaces and their continued tooth growth accommodates the effects of such wear. When teeth are not perfectly aligned, some tooth edges won’t wear properly and points are produced that limit the ability of horses to grind their food and also can produce sores in the horses’ cheeks. After decades of wear, Callie definitely had points that had to be removed in order to improve her ability to chew properly.

Callie also had a couple of broken molars. In her case, her teeth and gums were not inflamed or infected, so removing them could have actually created more issues than leaving them as found.

After the procedures were completed and Callie was sleeping off the anesthesia, Dr. Sean Peck took out a stethoscope and listened to her heart and lung sounds. He stopped, adjusted his stethoscope and reassessed those sounds. This activity worried us. But when we asked if anything was wrong, he replied, “No. Her heart and lungs are amazing. They sound more like what I’d expect of a teenager.”

Callie’s prognosis is excellent. She will be on a custom diet of pellets, rice bran (high fat content,) soaked beet pulp (for fiber and roughage) along with free choice hay. If she regains normal body weight as expected, an evaluation will follow as to whether she would likely be able to sustain herself if returned to the range or should remain on a supplemented diet and become a “domestic horse.” Now that she is back in Foster care, her Foster caregivers are being careful not to make her overly human-dependent in the event the volunteers are authorized to return her to the range. Meanwhile she has another rescue horse, “Sugar,” as a companion while in rehab.

If Callie can be returned to the range, she will be provided with temporary fertility control. She has already contributed significantly to the herd’s gene pool, and at her age she doesn’t need the added stress of gestating and nursing yet another foal.

The veterinarians also drew some blood for analysis. Range horses as old as Callie are not very common and it is hoped that the results will not only help any medical decisions regarding Callie, but could also provide some general insights as to how well many of the other older range horses are faring medically.

Callie arrives via the Large Animal Task Unit through LRTC

Callie, a wild mare, is sedated for her dental exam and vet visit

Her heart is very, very strong. Lungs good as well. (Callie is a wild mare so she had to be heavily sedated to treat her.)

Working on her teeth… She is easily late 20s to early 30s!

Carefully and quickly as possible… dental work.

Two vets work on Callie while a Large Animal Tactical team member stands by.

Callie was a trooper. She did very well and all the points and hooks are gone!

Callie wakes up and begins her healing!  She also meets Sugar… her new friend.

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Callie is already gaining weight!  She is living with a friend and chickens for now.

Callie is gaining some weight but as expected, it’s going to be a slow process.  Horses that have been undernourished for some time actually should be brought back cautiously and steadily to avoid unintended side effects. 

Nonetheless, Callie is more alert and animated and is in good enough shape to stay with Sugar, a middle-aged domestic mare (abandonment rescue) along with their chicken friends.  John separates them at feeding time so Callie can get her extra supplements.  Once she is near normal weight the next test will be to see if she can sustain herself on grass hay or will need to stay as a “domestic” horse so she can access higher density feed.

Thanks for helping out with this project!

Callie is alert and doing well! She lives with Sugar and some chickens.

As you can see, she is gaining weight! The key will be if she can chew natural grasses. If she continues to thrive and is able to chew natural foods well, they will release her back into the wild to live out her life in freedom!

If you receive this post via email, click here to donate!

Riding Warehouse
Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!

Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!