Kick back, relax and watch the British-produced equestrian films that won international acclaim

  • Last week British film company Equine Productions picked up an impressive total of five awards at the Equus Film Festival in Kentucky (5-8 December).

    Here we take a look at the films that won those awards, which ranged from a light-hearted Christmas advert to a 30-minute feature documentary to productions tackling challenging issues around mental and physical health.

    Johnston Racing: Always Trying — winner of the documentary full-length category

    Mark Johnston is one of Britain’s leading racehorse trainers, having become the first Flat trainer to send out more than 200 winners in a season (2009), a feat which he has, to date, repeated in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. On August 23, 2018, Mark became the winningmost trainer in British racing history when he saddled his 4,194th winner. This film tells the story of Mark and Deirdre Johnston from the very start of their racing career to becoming record-breakers.

    Kayley Woollacott Racing — winner of the equestrian series: international category

    Kayley Woollacott took over her husband Richard’s National Hunt stable after he took his own life in January 2018. A few months after Richard’s death, Kayley took their stable star Lalor back to Aintree, where he followed up a 2017 Grade 2 Bumper win with victory in the Grade 1 Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle. With Betway sponsoring her yard, this series follows Kayley as she sends Lalor over fences in pursuit of another Grade 1 triumph in the big two-mile novice chases towards the end of last season.

    I Am Helen — winner of the ‘horses helping humans’ category

    Produced on behalf of the FEI, I Am Helen is a film where we meet Helen, a dressage rider, and her horse Teg. It relays her incredible story of how Teg looks after her and helped her overcome adversity after suffering from a stroke.

    Racing Welfare Mental Health Awareness Week — winner of the best international short film category

    This film was created to mark Mental Health Awareness week in May as part of the Mental Health Foundation’s national initiative to destigmatise mental health issues and normalise conversations on the subject.

    Teddy the Shetland — The Tingle Creek Christmas Festival 2018

    As part of Sandown Park Racecourse’s promotion for the Tingle Creek Festival at Christmas in 2018, Teddy the Shetland shared his favourite festive traditions.

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