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A documentary that follows the fortunes of three racehorses over the course of a year, will be shown on BBC4 tonight at 9pm.

Filmed at Irish trainer Paul Nolan’s yard in Co Wexford, Ireland, it records the highs and lows of National Hunt horses Ardalan, Cuan na Grai and Joncol throughout their season.

Producers say the film “combines the drama of a sports movie with the exploration of an ancient human obsession, offering a subtle critique of humanity’s quirks on the side”.

Stable life will be observed from the horses’ perspective, meeting through their eyes, the people who ride and work with them.

A voice-over by John Hurt and an “experimental soundtrack” complete the package.

Although it is expected to trigger arguments over animal rights, the film is intended to provoke questions rather than present its own angle on the subject.

Directed by American Liz Mermin, who spent a year in Ireland going hunting, to shows, studs and point-to-points while researching the film, ‘Horses’ has received acclaim from the British national and racing press.