The documentary Dark Horse recounts the true, legendary story of the working class residents of Welsh mining town Cefn Fforest, who come together to breed a common pedigree horse with the dream of competing with the best in the elite sport of horseracing.
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The villagers pooled their money each week to pay for the horse’s breeding fees, general care expenses, boarding, and training and shared in the joys and concerns along each twist in the track for their horse named Dream Alliance.


None of the community owners were horse-savvy racing experts, but they all shared a common dream to participate in a sport traditionally accessible only to wealthy insiders. One of the owners shared how exciting and empowering it was to challenge the odds, “particularly when no one gives you a chance.”

Dark Horse is an action documentary full of cliffhangers, twists, turns, and laughs. A mixture of documentary footage and reenactments give viewers a front seat view from the beginning of the journey as Dream Alliance is born, takes his first steps, trains at a respected stable, and goes on to earn his place competing in Wale’s most prestigious races, including the Welsh Grand National.
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Interviews reveal the many people who support Dream’s Alliance’s journey, but the arching narrative of this film centers around the central protagonist, Jan Vokes, the barmaid whose vision and audacity to invite others into the experience gave life to a story that was larger than any of their expectations.


As a horse lover, and former horse owner, I was taken by surprise by waves of emotion at several points in the film. I was reminded of the special bond that an owner and horse can develop over time as one after another, villagers recounted how Dream Alliance seemed to understand them, be empathetic to their moods, and transport them from the ordinary each time they visited him. It was moving to share in the joy of these characters as they dare to believe in accomplishing the impossible.

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More than just a horse story, Dark Horse exemplifies the power of pursuing a passion and how that simple act can bring light and possibility to your life and community.

The people of Cefn Fforest inspired me to do more of what I love, reminding me of the adage, “do what you can with what you have to make the world a better place.” What joy is your community waiting to experience from your heartfelt contributions?


I challenge you to watch and find inspiration from the incredible true story of Dark Horse, and to reflect on what you would dare to do with your life -- even if no one were to give you a chance.

Dark Horse is playing at The Grand Cinema. Watch the trailer and check here for daily showtimes and make sure to make time to see it before it leaves our theaters: many of our films only screen for a week!