British equine film company scoops five awards at prestigious festival

A British equestrian film company has scooped five awards at a prestigious international festival — winning every category it entered.

Equine Productions took top honours at the Equus Film Festival in Kentucky (5 to 8 December) with films ranging from a 30-minute feature documentary to productions tackling challenging issues around mental and physical health, to a light-hearted Christmas advert.

Managing director Sam Fleet told H&H the team was “really proud” and while they were not able to attend this year, they have been celebrating from the company’s home in Chepstow.

“The films at these awards are always of a high standard and have really interesting back stories,” he said.

“To stand out against the others we were up against makes us even prouder.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to win on behalf of our clients and delighted to be asked to make these films for them — if people didn’t have the vision to see how film would help their businesses, [we wouldn’t be able to do what we do].

“It was really difficult for us to pick which of our films to enter because we like to think all of them are worthy in their own way.”

He added the variety of films — from hard-hitting to humorous — is testament to the skill of his team and the people who agree to be in the films.

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Johnston Racing: Always Trying took the prize for the documentary full-length category. The 30-minute film was created to celebrate Mark Johnston becoming British racing’s winning-most Flat trainer in a calendar year and has been shown on Sky Sports Racing.

They also scored wins with a series following Kayley Woollacott’s first season as a trainer last season, produced for Betway; a mental health awareness film for Racing Welfare. Their other wins came with I Am Helen, which showed how horses have helped a woman who sustained a life-changing stroke and was produced for the FEI; and Teddy the Shetland’s 2018 Christmas movie special commercial for Sandown’s Tingle Creek Festival on behalf of the Jockey Club.

Felicity Marshall, communications manager at Racing Welfare, said the charity was thrilled at the success of its film, which was created to mark Mental Health Awareness Week in May.

“The piece was watched by more than 60,000 people on social media alone during our campaign in May and we are honoured that it has been recognised at the festival,” she said.

“We hope that the film will continue to reduce the stigma around mental health issues and make it easier for people to talk about how they are feeling through the fantastic international platform that Equus offers.”

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